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Gold Bangle, Aztec Nails

I never wear bracelets. I have teeny tiny wrists that just about hold a watch in place so I've always struggled to pass off bangles no matter where they are on the chunky scale. I saw this thin filigree bangle on ASOS and thought it was very cute and tasteful, and a great way to subtly dress up something casual.

 It splits up my floral jacket and aztec nails in such a simple way that I think I'll be adding this to loads of outfits from now on. And speaking of nail art, what do you think of mine? It took me 2 hours to do but I'm really pleased with the outcome! It took a steady hand and a lot of patience, but I think it's turned out great.

Zara Summer Sale

If there's one sale I cannot wait for, it's Zara's. Zara is easily my favourite fashion shop on the high street, I think the mix of patterns and shapes mixes classic and contemporary so well. It also always fits me and my long body shape, meaning I don't have to worry about flashing my arse to passers by as I do with most other stores (I'm looking at you H&M).

Here's what I picked up at the Zara sale:

And my obsession continues! After my Alexander McQueen sample sale bargain and my vintage pencil skirt it's not like I need another leather skirt, but this one is so pretty. The pencil skirt I have is a bit more formal and great for work, but I wanted something that I could dress up for nights out and still have as part of a more casual outfit. 

I own pretty much everything in leopard print, from my dressing gown to underwear. I guess I channel Bet Lynch on a pretty regular basis. I'm going to wear this shirt tucked in at the front of my scalloped black shorts from Monki on my holiday in a couple of weeks.
Everyone and their wife seems to have this box clutch which also comes in neon pink and neon orange. Now I do too! It also comes with a silver chain in case I get annoyed with carrying it around. I love this bag and will definitely be pairing with with any monochrome outfits in the near future.
Buy it here: Was £19.99, now £15.99

How to Wear a White Skirt

I picked up this white A-line months ago at a designer sample sale. It's by Theory, who I'd never heard of before and didn't realise how high the quality was until I asked my mum to take it in for me as it was a bit big and the stitching blew her mind (she managed it like a pro though, obviously!).

Skirt: Theory (sample sale)
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
I've found it so hard to wear this though. I think it's because I'm not used to wearing a lighter colour on the bottom so it makes it look so bright whatever I pair it with. I've tried patterned tees, blouses and bright colours but I'm just not comfortable with it yet. So I stopped being so picky and just went for plain black and hallejuah, a combo was found.

Shirt: ASOS £25
Necklace: Topshop
I got this sleeveless shirt from ASOS and my housemate commented that it is 'very grown up'. I did in fact where this outfit to work for client meetings so I guess with great responsibility comes great fashion, right?! 

Do you struggle to wear white? How do you think I should wear this skirt?

Make-up Bag Musts

 I don't know that much about beauty products. I do love reading beauty blogs to get tips and tricks, but getting to 24 means I do have some essential products of my own that I can't go a day without. My make-up bag is guilty of having some inevitable crap in it, but this post will highlight the ones that are always sat at the top.

I have scars from adult acne and a touch of rosacea and was struggling to find a foundation that wasn't too heavy. Having combination skin, I need something that doesn't make my skin look flaky, but also doesn't slide off my oily face either. I swear, I almost kissed the woman in MAC when she put this on me. I've never had a foundation give me such even coverage, and if there was one piece of make-up I wouldn't be without, it's this.

This is in the skincare section of the store, not the make-up counter. It does what tea tree oil is famous for: it soothes my red flared spots and helps reduce them over time. It's really soft and blends in really well, even though it only comes in two shades. It also lasts forever!

The newest addition to my make-up bag, this has taken over from Benefit's Bad Gal (which I still love in Plum) to be the best mascara I've ever tried. This has actually made people comment on how good my lashes look, which isn't the most obvious of compliments people tend to pay! Two coats of this and I feel like I've got fake lashes, without the hassle of glue or ruining my real eyelashes. Seriously impressed.

Another favourite from The Body Shop. My eyes are really sensitive so this is perfect. It has the best nib on a liquid eyeliner that I've ever used, it's perfectly pointy but doesn't feather so I can get the cleanest, finest line without going all Amy Winehouse.

What are the products in your make-up bag that you can't live without?

Do Vitamin Supplements Work?

We're all guilty of doing what we can, with whatever products we can get our hands on, to make us look brighter, younger and prettier. Blusher for a healthy glow, white eyeliner for wider eyes, dry body brushing to within an inch of my life to shift the very determined cellulite. It all happens on the outside. 

I wouldn't say I am one for homeopathic remedies, but I do believe in the power of natural ingredients to some extent. I have used Lush products since I was 16, and I worked there for a few years too so I'm the woman to tell you that seaweed is moisturising, calamine is soothing and jasmine can get you in the mood. Yep.

I recently bought two vitamin supplements. I've been taking cranberry tablets on and off for the last 8 years, and believe that they really do help keep the female urinary system healthy (ask any girl that's ever had cystitis what she's taken for it, and she'll swear by cranberry juice by the gallon). When I went to buy them the other week I was completely taken in by another supplement called HRI. It contains burdock root, blue flag (whatever that is!), and sarsaparilla, and is labeled as 'Clear Complexion Tablets'. I have scars and breakouts from adult acne and frankly I'm willing to try anything to get clear skin.

Vitamin supplements seem to be common place now. My mum has been leaving a Bassetts Soft & Chewy Vitamin next to my little sister's morning Marmite on toast for as long as I can remember, and taking Evening Primrose Oil herself. My housemate swears by Magnesium for period pains, and another friend refuses to have any cold and flu remedies and will only take Echinacea if she is ill. I've searched for information online as to whether there is tangible proof or if we're all victims of the placebo effect, but nothing ever seems conclusive. 

What do you think about vitamin supplements? Do you take any?

High Tea of Highgate

My recent transformation into tea drinker extraordinaire was officially celebrated with my caffeine loving family this weekend with a trip to High Tea of Highgate.

This tiny little place in the midst of the small boutiques and cafes in picturesque Highgate has the quaint and cute baby pink exterior and bunting typical of most tea shops these days. I'm a sucker for that kind of decor, I'd secretly deck my whole house in it if I thought I could get away with it. There's something about vintage crockery that makes the whole act of tea drinking even more of an occasion, especially when it's mismatched.

There's nothing better than quintessential English tea and scones on a blustery Sunday afternoon, with milk from a milk jug and sugar cubes picked up with tongs. Don't you agree?

Necklace: Tatty Devine
Jumper: Topshop £18

Stripes, Bling and Burgers

Blazer: Vintage
Vest: H&M
Necklace: Craft fair
Trousers: Topshop £35
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
I told you more patterned trousers had come into my life recently! These are a bit less in-your-face than the jungle print ones I wore the other day, as I wanted a few pairs that could be worn with more things. I wore this outfit to client meetings on Friday and then to dinner with a friend, so they were perfect for transitioning from work to casual wear.

These are sold in Topshop as 'joggers', I guess down to the slightly elasticated ankles. I prefer the fit of these actually because of that. Having them a bit more fitted makes them more of a cigarette line, perfect if I want something a bit more formal for work.

I got this leopard head necklace for Christmas a few years ago, and it's another one of my favourite tacky bling pieces that should be disgusting but just isn't!

These photos were taken outside Meat Liquor, the infamous burger restaurant in central London. They don't take reservations so there's normally a queue around the block to get in. After I got out of work early on Friday me and my friend took advantage of an early dinner and were not disappointed!

That's a Dead Hippie burger, Chili Cheese burger, Cheesy chips, Slaw and Onion Rings as big as my face

We drank wine from jars which pleased my friend Claire immensely!
One thing I love about London is that you can go out for a meal at one place and then go and find dessert at another! We started off with wine and burgers and ended up with tea and cake. Perfect!

Graduate Fashion Week - Jungle Print Trousers

It's Graduate Fashion Week where the likes of Stella McCartney and Christopher Bailey first rose to fame. This year's GFW is once again sponsored by George at Asda and every year a number of specially designed pieces are sold in Asda stores and online.

Denim jacket: Vintage
Sunglasses: Miu Miu
Vest top: Topshop Boutique
Trousers: George at Asda
Wedges: Jeffrey Campbell
These jungle print trousers were knocked down to £7 recently, and in my attempt to bring more colours and patterns into my wardrobe I gave into the bargain. The usual panic about what I would actually wear with them ensued but I think it ended up OK.

I never wear heels during the day (apart from the odd pair of boots), but these Jeffrey Campbell wedges I scored from eBay for the unbelievable price of £15(!) went so well that I gave in and didn't even end up hobbling around all day. 

Hilariously, while I was shopping in this outfit there as a mannequin in Topshop that was dressed almost identically. I take that as a compliment!

Life: May 2013

Just hanging with Benedict Cumberbatch on the set of Sherlock (fan girl doesn't even cover it)
Just hanging with Bene....oh wait. No, that's actually an otter.
The best cake I've ever made: Blackberry and soured cream (adapted from this recipe)
Drinks for a friend's birthday in my new Zara skirt

I found the world's most sour sweets in Reading
Indian food at its best at Dishoom in Covent Garden
The view from Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath
Running in the rain

Outside 221b before they started filming Sherlock
Clear blue skies in Devon
Sunshine means ICE CREAM VAN!
Butterfly chrysalis - beautiful and amazing

The Baker Street sign goes up on the Sherlock set
Found Herbie the Lovebug in Devon!
That's my proud aunt face. Aren't my niece and nephew the cutest?
If you ever want to eat more food than your stomach is built for, try Il Bordello in Wapping. That 'side salad' is enough for 4 people.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review