Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Style By Portobello Second Unboxing


Today I've got the second unboxing of my monthly Style by Portobello vintage accessory subscription boxes!

So for those of you who don't know, I am testing out these £35 a month boxes of Portobello Road Market-sourced vintage goodies for three months as a style ambassador for the brand. You can learn more and see what I received last month in my earlier blog post.

So, let's get to the big reveal.

Seriously, wow! I think I love this month's contents more than the last.

I think the belt is my favourite piece. In black and gold, it's classic but also really unusual with the little figures adorning the full width of the belt. It's quite small but is perfect as a waist belt - I've already worn it several times and got loads of compliments.

I love a good vintage scarf and have amassed quite a collection over the years. Just my style; I'm always drawn to the ones with Versace-esque chain designs like this one. I think these kind of scarves are really versatile accessories - worn traditionally around the neck, as a headscarf or even around the handles of your bag as I've done, below. It's a really easy way to update a plain bag.

Faux fur patchwork gilet - River Island*
Jumper - Warehouse
Cord Disco Jeans - New Look
Chunky 70s style Suede Boots - Topshop
Bag - Vivienne Westwood
Vintage Scarf - Style By Portobello*

I mentioned that I bought the River Island faux fur gilet above with the voucher I got from the recent Premier Inn Shopping Event. I have such a ridiculous collection of faux fur coats that it was high time that I got myself a furry gilet too. I didn't think I'd get much wear out of this but it's already become a weekend essential.

What are your go-to pieces this season?


Saturday, 14 November 2015

UD X GWEN: Urban Decay | Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette


This post is all about an uber-exciting new product launch that beauty buffs and music fans are going to go crazy for!

I have always been a huge fan of No Doubt and by association, the absolute babe that is, Gwen Stefani. So imagine my excitement when a parcel from Urban Decay landed on my desk, containing the not-yet-released Gwen Stefani collaboration eyeshadow plaette* and a CD of No Doubt's greatest hits!

Urban Decay's eyeshadow palettes are pretty legendary (who hasn't heard of the iconic Naked range?) but collaborating with a music legend and style icon like Gwen on this limited edition has proved to be a really interesting, creative partnership.

For starters, what an incredible pairing. UD was founded in Southern California - where Gwen hails from! UD confess that they've been dying to collaborate with the singer for years. Her music started to gain popularity around the same time that the makeup brand was founded and was a real inspiration to the brand's core values of individuality, self-expression and creativity.

UD X Gwen eyeshadow palette

The Palette

The packing of the palette is awesome! Apparently Gwen had a hand in every part of the process and the packaging was no less important. The bold monochrome paired with the gold is so her.

I love that the casing has her personality and even little touches like a 'Magic's in the Makeup' quote on the mirror inside - another No doubt song.

UD X GWEN packaging paletteUD X GWEN palette case design

The Shades

There's quite a few nudes and neutral shades in the palette - which is pretty true to Gwen's style. She doesn't tend to wear coloured shadows and instead opts for a bold lip (usually red) as the focus of her look (keep your eyes peeled for a lipstick range too!).

The shades are really quite interesting, with most named by Gwen with some connection to her music; like the spangly gold colour '1987' which is the year No Doubt formed - I bet that makes some of you feel old! She says that she wore lots of gold during the days of the Rock Steady album.

I think my favourites of the bunch are 'Anaheim' (a matte taupe brown and also the place Gwen grew up), 'Steady' (a rose gold/brown shade with a subtle gold shimmer - and named after the Rock Steady album) and lastly, 'Danger' (the incredible metallic royal blue, the most daring in the palette).

I did a few swatches of the darker colours below. It's hard to pick up all the different finishes; the shades have so many facets - irridescent shimmers and sparkles which have a beautiful sheen in the light.

UD X GWEN eyeshadow shades
UD X GWEN eyeshadow colour shades
UD X GWEN eyeshadow swatches


All in all I think this is a really versatile palette and considering it's a limited edition collab, it's really classic too.

The colours are really pigmented and have great staying power (made even better with UD's eyeshadow primer that I was lucky enough to get hold of recently). I can see this palette being a real go-to for day or night.

The palette retails at £40. You can sign up to be notified by email for its launch on Urban Decay's site - I anticipate it's going to be really popular!

Gwen's look has always struck me as really bold but classic. She's not afraid of colour and has always lead the way in terms of crazy and controversial outfits, though her make-up tends to be very classic - like old Hollywood with a rockabilly twist. I love her signature combination of winged black eyeliner, bold red lips and strong brows (well, in recent years - she definitely rocked the noughties skinny brow trend at the time!).

Below are some of my favourite beauty looks from Gwen over the years; from the crazy blue hair, bindi and space buns, to classic bombshell.

Gwen Stefani makeup
Gwen Stefani No Doubt shoot
Gwen Stefani blue hair bindi festival
Gwen Stefani makeup pink

Are you a Gwen Stefani fan?


Friday, 6 November 2015

Italy Part Two: Liguria


So here we have part two of my Italy adventure! After spending a brilliant couple of days in Milan, we headed to our Italian coastal destination - Liguria!

Liguria is on Italy's North West coast, with its coastline also known as the 'Italian Riviera'. As we flew to Bologna, we knew it would be easiest to stay fairly northern and deciding to go somewhere less touristy than Rimini on the East coast, Liguria was our first choice.

The Riviera is peppered with little old-fashioned seaside towns in pastel colours. We chose to stay in Rapallo which is a pretty quiet resort but close to the more lively Santa Margherita Ligure and also luxurious Portofino - it sounded like a great base!

The train from Milan took around two hours and we arrived later in the afternoon. It was gorgeous to sit by the sea and have a few drinks and nibbles (you seem to gets snacks with your drinks almost everywhere in Italy!) as the sun set. We sat close to Rapallo's 'castello' - a medieval mini castle that sits in the water just off the shore.

Our hotel in Rapallo was my favourite of the three we stayed in during the trip. A pastel pink renovated (actual) palace from the 1600s, it was like my very own Barbie Dreamhouse! It also has a spa which you can book into for free and have all to yourself - I'd definitely recommend it.

Playsuit - In Love With Fashion via Topshop sale

Rapallo was a brilliant base for exploring Liguria as nearby Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino were just a short 1.80 EURO train ride away. On our second day in Liguria, we took the train and enjoyed exploring Santa Margherita, before taking the boat over to Portofino.

Portofino really is incredible for a day trip. It's where the wealthy choose to take their yachts and as soon as you step off the boat, you're greeted by boutiques like Dior and Louis Vuitton - which is quite surreal considering how small this little fishing village is!

We enjoyed the views from walking up the hill where there's a beautiful church and even further up, a castle. The photo above was taken from the top of the castle.

Playsuit - Boohoo

We were lucky to enjoy some of the best meals of the trip in Liguria. I think my favourite was our meal at Gli Angeli on the first night; I had the lobster soufflé above, followed by tiramisu. We obviously also tried a few pizzas too...

Our last day in Rapallo was up there with the best of the trip. We took the rickety old cable car up the mountain, where at the top, there's a religious sanctuary built in 1557 after a farmer claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in this very spot. It's absolutely breathtaking to see something so beautiful and intricately built in the absolute back of beyond up a mountain - amazing!

We had lunch at the top of the mountain in a lovely family-run restaurant. Eating fresh pesto spaghetti with the most insane views over the coast is something I'll never forget.

Outfit 1: 
Sunglasses - Ray Ban
Off-the-shoulder top - Primark
Patterned shorts - bought at Milan train station somewhere when I was too hot!
Velcro sandals - Vagabond

Outfit 2:
Jacket - Luxemme*
Necklace - Zara
Dress - Motel
Patent Sliders - Primark

The black jacket above from Luxemme was my absolute savoir on the evenings. Stylish and versatile, yet light enough to fold away into my bag - perfect!

While you wait for the third and finally instalment of my Italy diary, why not read my part one in Milan?

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