Saturday, 31 January 2015

today i'm wearing...

ASOS leather pencil skirt

Whistles fashioned rib knit jumper

3.1 Phillip Lim marine 31 minute clutch

Zara ponyskin ankle boots

Can never go wrong with a good texture clash if you ask me: knitwear, leather and ponyskin are a match made in heaven. Oh, and the lovely silver mesh of my beautiful new watch helps, too.

Whistles jumper / similar here
ASOS leather skirt / similar here
Zara ponyskin boots / similar here
3.1 Phillip Lim 31 minute clutch /
Larsson & Jennings watch /


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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

today i'm wearing...

ASOS black split front skirt

Zara leather zip boots

Whistles mini Verity rucksack

Whistles grey knitted jumper

This skirt was one of those "I've already bought way too much in the sales but damn, I need this" buys. And I'm so glad I caved in. Reduced to just £17, it's one of the most flattering skirts I own. It's both comfortable and elegant (no mean feat for a high-waisted piece), plus I love the front slit detail.

Whistles jumper / similar here
Zara boots / similar here
Whistles mini Verity rucksack /


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Saturday, 24 January 2015

today i want… eclectic by tom dixon candles

eclectic by tom dixon candle gift set


I have a lot of friends who think my obsession with candles borders on the well, shall we say, ridiculous. "How can you possibly need so many candles?" "Seriously, another candle?!" "It cost how much?!" "You're literally burning money!" But to them I say… I don't care. I love them. Genuinely there is little in this world that makes me happier than coming home from a shopping trip with a brand new Diptyque beauty, sealed in its perfect pristine white box, and lighting it for the first time to inhale the most wonderful aroma. Even just looking at them all lined up on my windowsill makes me happy. OK, yes, I am a little weird, but I'm sure there are some fellow candle-philes out there who understand. Anyway, back to the point. My latest obsession is these metallic beauties from Tom Dixon. They're just so minimalist and perfect. The scents are deep, intoxicating and decadent and they come with perfect little marble lids. I simply can't decide which one I like best, so it will have to be the gift set of all three. If only I hadn't just had Christmas and my birthday… Random end of January present to myself perhaps? One thing's for sure: my candle addiction knows no bounds. These will be mine sooner rather than later. Sorry, bank balance and naysaying friends…


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Thursday, 22 January 2015

today i'm wearing...

Whistles Tyler boyfriend jeans

Alexander Wang Prisma lizard tote

Zara black leather court shoes

Whistles Kumiko navy faux fur coat

Enjoying the new silhouette of these jeans. It's trickier to find the right footwear with boyfriend denim though: my usual shoe of choice, the ankle boot, doesn't quite cut it. You can't go wrong with a failsafe court, although going sockless in this weather isn't exactly ideal...

Whistles Kumiko navy faux fur coat / in black here
Zara grey cashmere jumper / similar here
Zara shoes / similar here
Alexander Wang Prisma tote / in matte black here


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Sunday, 18 January 2015

today i'm wearing...

Zara grey cashmere jumper

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli burgundy medium

Michael Michael Kors leather leggings

Whistles Tilla grey suede mules

Sorry for the blog silence over the last few days; I've just been taking a little birthday break. But I'm back now (one year older, gulp) so here's a look from a few days ago. Picked up this super soft cashmere knit in the Zara sale (along with a camel v-necked version) which is the perfect length to team with my leather leggings. Add to that my favourite new Whistles mules (obsessed with these) and it's the perfect greyscale combo.

Zara cashmere jumper / similar here
Michael Michael Kors leather leggings / similar here
Whistles Tilla mules / in black here
3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli medium / in black here


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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

today i love… my top ten beauty tips

annalouelliottbeautytips

This isn't a beauty blog and I don't claim to be an expert, but believe me when I say I have tried hundreds of products and learned a hell of a lot through trial and error. Also, I used to have bad skin as a teenager so I really had to learn how to use beauty products and make-up properly (don't ever trust beauty advice from someone who's had perfect skin all her life!) So here are the top ten rules I swear by. I hope they're useful!

1. Use a proper cleanser, every night.
Wipes are totally useless, and even normal face washes that you just splash water on your face to remove won't get rid of your make-up properly. Eve Lom's cleanser deserves its reputation as the best, for two reasons: it's gently exfoliating, and you remove it with a hot muslin cloth. This means you're wiping away every trace of make-up and leaving your skin properly clean. Liz Earle is the second best if you're on a budget.

2. Wear SPF 50, all day, every day.
If there's one thing I could go back and tell my teenage self it would be to start using SPF 50 on my face every day, much earlier than I did. Not even mentioning the risk of skin cancer, nothing ages your skin faster than the sun. And yes, that means SPF 50 all day, every day, even in the dark wintry rain. I recommend SunSense Daily Face.

3. Don't scrimp on lipsticks.
Some items of make-up, like mascara, aren't worth splurging on. I tend to just buy whichever one's on offer and I've never really found a firm favourite. But when it comes to lipstick, it really is worth buying a better brand. Cheaper versions will flake, run and dry out your lips. My absolute favourite formula is NARS' semi-matte (I'm wearing this above, shade Fire Down Below), but Chanel and YSL lipsticks are also lovely. Of course, it helps that the packaging is beautiful for these brands, too.

4. Talking of lipstick… Learn to apply it properly.
So many people just put one coat of lipstick on straight from the bullet and within an hour the colour's bleeding all over the place and has disappeared from the centre of their mouth. Here's how to do it in a nutshell: line your lips with a nude pencil. Apply the first coat using a lip brush. Blot, then apply a second coat from the bullet. Voilà. I learned this from the brilliant Lisa Eldridge's video.

5. When to comes to foundation, finding the right shade is paramount.
No matter how expensive your foundation is, if you don't have the perfect colour, it will look awful. End of story. There really is nothing worse than an orange tidemark on the jawline. If you're as pale as I am this can be tricky, but don't settle for anything less than an exact colour match (ignore anyone who recommends going a shade lighter or darker than your skin tone). I read somewhere that you should take a couple of little travel pots into the store and decant a small amount of a few testers. Then take them home and try them out (on your jawline) in natural daylight. Don't stop until you've found a shade that disappears into your skin: that's the one you want. For me it's Barbara Daly moisture foundation in Porcelain.

6. Eyeshadow primer will change your life.
I'm still annoyed I only discovered this last year. I spent my life up until then re-blending my eyeshadow at about 2pm every day when it had all gathered into creases on my eyelids. No more. Since I've been using Urban Decay's primer potion, my eyeshadow looks exactly the same 24 hours after applying it. Seriously a game changer.

7. Don't underestimate liquid eyeliner.
A lot of women say mascara would be their desert island make-up item, but liquid eyeliner's mine (Rimmel Exaggerate, to be precise). Nothing will make you look instantly more wide awake. Plus it'll transform your look if you've got tiny eyes like mine. The key is to apply very close to the lash line so you don't get that telltale gap between lash and liner. And the trick to getting a smooth kitten flick? Practice.

8. Dewy is key.
One cardinal sin I often see is over-powdering. There's nothing less flattering than a flaky, dull, matt face. Especially because I've got pretty dry skin, I'm always snapping up products which promise to give that dewy, babyfaced glow: primers, highlighters, light-reflecting everything. I apply NARS pro-prime under my foundation for a glow that's not shiny or shimmery, mix Soap & Glory Glow Lotion with my foundation and then only powder the T-zone to set my concealer. I also use a shimmery blush (NARS Orgasm) and, if I have time, dab a little Benefit High Beam on my cheekbones, under eyebrows and above the cupid's bow.

9. Good brushes are essential.
Take it from me: splash a silly amount of money on brushes as a one off (just close your eyes and hand over that credit card) and you won't regret it. They'll be with you for life. Better yet, do what I did and snap up a Laura Mercier travel brush set in the sale. I've been using mine daily for two years and only one of them is starting to lose its fibres. No matter how good your products, if you don't have good tools to apply them with it won't matter.

10. Treat the problem from the inside.
Above all: don't throw expensive skincare at the problem. If you've got bad skin, you need to treat it from the inside. At the end of the day what really worked for me was Roaccutane. Different solutions suit different people, but don't spend all your money on products promising to work wonders: go see a dermatologist. They really know what they're doing.


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Monday, 12 January 2015

today i'm wearing...

Whistles Tyler boyfriend jeans

Whistles navy merino wool jumper

Whistles mini Verity rucksack

It felt very strange to be wearing a different style of jean after years of nothing but skinnies, but strange in a good way. The key as with everything is to balance out proportions: a slim knit and a sharp heel keep these boyfriends in check.

Whistles navy jumper / similar here
Zara shoes / similar here
Whistles mini Verity rucksack /


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Saturday, 10 January 2015

today i love… what's in my bag

inmybag-nars-moltonbrown-ysl

A few of the things I'm carrying around at the moment.

Alexander Wang Prisma tote / in matte black here
Smythson key ring / similar here
3.1 Phillip Lim cardholder / similar here
Kiehl's lip balm #1 /


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Thursday, 8 January 2015

today i'm wearing...

Whistles fashioned rib knit jumper

Acne Pistol boots

Whistles mini Verity rucksack

Another Whistles sale purchase I'm afraid. Couldn't resist this lovely chunky knit.

Whistles fashioned rib knit / in lilac here
Zara jeans / similar here
Whistles mini Verity rucksack /


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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

today i bought… whistles tyler boyfriend jeans

whistles tyler boyfriend jeans

Whistles Tyler boyfriend jeans / £30 (reduced from £95)

I've been searching for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans for what seems like forever. In fact, I'm trying to remember the first time they arrived on the scene and we started to question the skintight denim that had until then been a permanent fixture in pretty much every woman's wardrobe since about 2005. To be honest, I was never hugely convinced. Skinny jeans have become a true classic because they really are the most flattering style. There's no getting around that, and I'm not pretending that boyfriends will make your legs look slimmer (they won't). But they will freshen things up a little bit, which is pretty much the be all and end all when it comes to fashion. No matter how new and exciting skinnies were eight years ago, there's no denying that today the silhouette is so tried and tested that it can look - dare I say it - boring. So that's where boyfriends come in. But I wasn't prepared to go all out with a drop crotch distressed pair (well, we still want to look good, right?) The key is Whistles rather than Topshop, I'm afraid. I've tried on a few budget pairs and just found them too baggy. This pair manages to look both smart (no rips or frayed edges here) but also inherently casual (thanks to the loose, but crucially not too loose, fit). Oh, and did I mention they're in the sale?! In short: they're the Holy Grail of boyfriend jeans and now that I've finally found them, I'll be giving my skinny jeans a long-overdue break.


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Sunday, 4 January 2015

today i'm wearing...

Whistles mini Verity backpack

Isabel Marant black Dicker boots

River Island cream oversized coat

And Other Stories black knit jumper

Zara blue skinny jeans

Took my new Whistles rucksack out sales shopping the other day. Kind of obsessed with it right now. I love when you get a new accessory that just seems to liven up everything you own. Safe to say it was a very good Christmas present.

River Island coat / similar here
& Other Stories jumper / similar here
Zara jeans / similar here
Whistles mini Verity backpack /




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Friday, 2 January 2015

this year i'm wearing...

Happy new year everyone! It's time for my annual self-indulgent look back at what I was wearing last year. It only remains for me to thank you all so much for reading my blog. I hugely appreciate every single page view, comment, tweet and like. I really hope you've enjoyed stopping by this year and I encourage you to get in touch with any comments or suggestions on any of my social media channels. Here's to a fantastic 2015!


January /

January 2014

Back in January I was kind of obsessed with my two new Phillip Lim bags (those post-Christmas sales really did some damage to my bank account). My favourite grey Whistles knit (another sale buy) also got a lot of outfit airtime, as did my little black furry beanie.


February /

February 2014

Fashion week in February saw me running around & Other Stories in a mad panic, but it actually resulted in one of my favourite accessory buys of the year: the cross body ostrich-effect bag. I wore it to one of my favourite shows of the year: Charlie May (still remembering the amazing cronut that was waiting on my seat that day). I continued to get good use out of my favourite zipped ankle boots and also added pearl earrings to my jewellery repertoire, inspired by the Sophie Billie Brahe craze gripping the blogosphere.


March /

March 2014

Arguably my favourite shoes of 2014 - the Zara mules - accessorised most of my outfits in March (luckily it wasn't too horrendously cold). The ponyskin skirt I snapped up in the Topshop sale became my most beloved bargain for some time and I still can't get over what a great find it was.


April /

April 2014

A warm April meant I could continue wearing the mules to death, as well as my favourite lace-up strappy heels. I also dug out my trusty Ray-Bans and my ever-faithful collection of leather jackets made the perfect transitional cover-ups.


May /

May 2014

I spent two weeks in Cuba in May (such a great holiday) so the shorts were out unseasonably early this year. Before I left I invested in my third Phillip Lim bag (oops), the beautiful silky navy 31 minute clutch, which I proceeded to carry around for much of the rest of the year.


June /

June 2014

After returning from Cuba I shamelessly wore lots of white to show off my uncharacteristically good tan (my SPF 50 tan, I might add - safety first, kids), including a zipped skirt that quickly proved a summer favourite. Another Whistles sale buy, my neoprene sweatshirt, also became a hardworking staple of my wardrobe.


July /

July 2014

Aside from mules, the other biggest shoe trend of the year had to be pool slides, and in July I finally got my hands on Whistles' blue beauties. Never have I loved an ugly sandal quite so much. A hot summer meant shorts, camis and light cover-ups like the white mesh bomber I eagerly snapped up from Topshop.


August /

August 2014

At the end of July I invested in my beloved Alexander Wang Prisma tote, which has since proven one of my hardest working accessories. I also bought the grey version of my white Topshop Boutique sweat and found it to be the perfect summer cover-up.


September /

September 2014

LFW in September meant I wore a ridiculously huge fur coat in 20 degree heat… The things we do for fashion, eh? But my love for Whistles' navy Kumiko coat has not diminished, and I'm still snuggled up in it almost all the time (now much more comfortably in these freezing temperatures). I also invested in a midi dress from H&M to shake up my silhouette just a little.


October /

October 2014

Changeable weather in October meant it was bare legs one day and thick coats the next, but I took the opportunity to dig out some old favourite outerwear pieces. I also made good use of my huge Acne Studios sweatshirt (another fashion week purchase) and a new midi leather skirt.


November /

November 2014

Winter accessories were the order of the day in November: my favourite grey wool scarf from & Other Stories barely left my neck, and my navy mohair bobble hat from Whistles kept my head toasty too. I also wore two of my favourite pairs of ankle boots to death: my new ponyskin Zara beauties and the replacement Acne Pistols (RIP old battered ones).


December /

December 2014

More of the same in December really: I didn't buy much in preparation for the onslaught of the sales. And believe me, they have done some serious damage to my bank account, so I've got lots of new goodies to be wearing in 2015… Watch this space!


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