Nov 12, 2011

Motel Rocks & Glossybox bloggers party

Motel Rocks Christmas blogger event

If Motel Rocks was a person it’d be the girl who’s the life and soul of a party, the one who radiates a positive energy and a fun-loving attitude.  Last week the brand invited bloggers – a lot of bloggers – to take a look at their new Christmas collection at a party in central London, an event they held in collaboration with Glossybox.

Upon arriving at the venue we were hit with the sweet scents of candy floss and popcorn: I can confirm that the candy floss was the perfect accompaniment to a couple of glasses of rosé.  Emma from Boom Nails had also set up a stall and spent the evening creating the most amazing nail art for the fortunate few who were quick to get their names down!

It’s really odd to be in a room where you recognise everyone but don’t actually know them!  There were so many bloggers in attendance it would have been impossible to chat to everyone so hi if you were there but I didn’t get round to talking to you!

Of course the clothes were the main attraction – Motel are known for their colourful, figure-hugging dresses and we saw that they also do a killer line of patterned jeans, along with some cute crop tops and rather sexy shorts and pencil skirts.  They were kind enough to gift us all an item of our choice – I really couldn’t decide so I listed 5 things!  I’m sure whatever I’m sent will feature in an outfit post soon!  We’ll also be receiving a Glossybox so I’ll finally get to see what all the fuss is about.  Every month there seem to be a million reviews of them so I doubt I’ll dedicate a full post to it but I will let you know what I think.

I spent most of my evening chatting to Saima (LDN Shopaholic) - who I’ve ‘known’ online for a while so it was lovely to meet her! – and Elle (A Bird In The Hand).  It was also great to see Amy (Wolf Whistle), Daniela (Couture and Crumpets) and Kristbel (I Want You To Know) again, and to meet Rosie (The Budget Beauty Book), Dina (She Loves Mixtapes) and Rachel (Rachel Phipps) in person for the first time.

In fact I spent so much of my evening chatting that I neglected to tweet or even take many photos!  (Oops.)  Thanks a lot to Motel Rocks and to Selina for inviting me to such a fun evening :)

Lots of the items we saw are already available online so click to shop at MotelRocks.com!

Motel Rocks Christmas blogger event

Candyfloss

Boom Nails

Balloons

Popcorn

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Nov 9, 2011

Why blogging is more difficult in the winter

Besides the fact that 24% of the UK population suffers from SAD or subsyndromal SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) winter gives me more problems than the blues and a lack of motivation to get out of bed on those cold, dark mornings.  As a fashion blogger it also impacts on my ability to post. Here’s why.

It’s difficult to take outfit photos in the evenings

Bad model

As you probably know my blog is just a hobby and I actually work full-time: this leaves me with evenings and weekends on which to take outfit photos.  But now it gets dark – really dark – at 4pm evening photoshoots are out of the question, and as I only tend to wear a couple of outfits over the weekend (besides my lounging-around-the-house clothes) that is a grand total of 2-3 potential outfits to post each week.  Presuming all of my weekend outfits are interesting, which they’re not.

Besides anything else my boyfriend isn’t the most willing photographer so his idea spending quality time together over the weekend isn’t standing in the street with me screeching various versions of “URGH THAT ONE’S HORRIBLE!” at him { note to self: it’s not the angle that’s making you look podgy it’s the packet of Jammy Dodgers you inhaled last night … }.

Flash is harsh and unflattering

Bad flash - me in Amsterdam

Even if I was inclined to take some photos during the dark evenings, inside or out flash would be a necessity and since the built-in flash on cameras is wholly unflattering and usually far too harsh I try to avoid it at all costs.

Last year I did invest in a proper flash gun with a swivelling head and slide-out diffuser but the thing eats batteries so fast I can barely afford to use it.

Oh, and if you don’t use flash you just end up with crappy blurry images. Win.

The weather is usually hideous

Rainy NYC

{ I actually took this photo in June, that’s unpredictable NYC weather for you. }

Even if you get lucky and your boyfriend/Mum/friend/whatever actually volunteers to spend the weekend photographing you, it’s likely to be pouring with rain. That means that once again it’s also likely to be dark, you could damage your camera, and you’ll probably look crap (no offence, I’m sure you’d agree).

On dry days it’s often so freezing outside that removing your coat for even 5 minutes to take some outfit shots would result in hypothermia.  Ok maybe that’s a little dramatic, but basically it’s safe to say our outdoor outfit shots will consist of coats and boots for the next 4 months.

And now some positives!

- The cold weather presents lots of layering opportunities.

- Some of the best accessories are scarves, gloves and hats.

- Those cold, crisp mornings create the ideal natural light for your shots.

- Even better, misty days make for beautiful and haunting photos.

In summary …

Expect to see a lot of lookbooks, event photos, reviews and recipes here over the next few months!

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Nov 8, 2011

Win big with BIC Soleil!

BIC Soleil 'Just Live' graphic

I can’t imagine that anyone would be against a mammoth shopping spree at Dorothy Perkins, a stylist makeover, and an all-expenses trip to London (including cash for a girls’ night out!). Thanks to the folk at BIC you could win one of several lovely prizes over the coming 10 weeks as they launch their new competition,  ”Just Live”, to celebrate the launch of their new Soleil range.

So if you fancy this super-girly super-amazing prize, amongst various others, all you have to do is head over to the special “BIC Soleil Just Live” Facebook page and answer a quick question.

As well as competitions the page contains posts from featured bloggers (keep an eye out for me soon!) and beauty tips, all designed to help you “Just Live” your life without worrying about dreaded stubble ruining your fun!

To enter this week’s competition, “Just Live Your Christmas Party”, just visit the BIC Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

The BIC Soleil range

BIC Soleil Bella

The 4 new razors are designed with everyone in mind: the luxurious Soleil Bella (with a moisturising coconut strip), the Soleil Scent (with a lavender-enfused strip), the convenient Miss Soleil (perfect for those with an active lifestyle), and my personal favourite the Soleil Lady (for the girl-on-the-go!).

All of the products are designed with shaver grip technology allowing you to hold your razor comfortably and achieve the closest possible, longest-lasting shave. As a dark-haired girl this is so important to me; I’ve got better things to be doing than shaving my legs 3 times a week and waxing costs soon add up!

According to body language expert Dr Jane McCartney, we all have a specific way of holding our razor and this reveals a lot about our character-type. Here are the four most common, along with which new BIC Soleil razor would be best for you!

Talk to the Palm Queen

You hold your razor with four fingers on top and it acts as an extension of the hand with the tip of the shaver resting in the palm of your hand. This grip allows you to shave quickly and efficiently and reflects your direct approach. You like to be on the go and juggling lots of things at once. You don’t have time for high maintenance beauty regime but you always look well dressed and prepared for whatever life throws at you whether at work or at play. BIC Soleil shaver = Bella

The Pincer Princess

You hold your razor between the top index finger, just like you would your tweezers, and favour taking time over your beauty regime. You love nothing better than girlie nights in, pampering you and your friends whilst having a good gossip. You are known for your feminine style and your friends consider you as a great mate. BIC Soleil shaver = Miss Soleil

The Feather-Light Lady

You hold the razor at the end of the handle with your fingertips, a bit like a make-up brush and use a sweeping, smooth action. Your shaving stoke mimics your soft and gentle nature. You are happy to remain behind the scenes and are imaginative. You’re a trustworthy and loyal friend and partner and have an air of sophistication. You like to spend time on your beauty routine and you look like you take care in your appearance. BIC Soleil shaver = Lady 

The Pencil Painter

You hold your shaver with the thumb and middle finger and guide it with the index finger from the top, much like a pencil or paint brush. You are independent, free-thinking and known for your creativity. Sensual and intuitive, you instinctively know what goes together and looks good – be it colour, texture or shape. Your sense of style is distinctive and unique, and you enjoy always looking your best. BIC Soleil shaver: Scent

This is a sponsored post.

Nov 7, 2011

Christmas shopping in London: department stores

Here’s the first in a festive mini-series I’ll be bringing to you over the next couple of weeks: a guide to Christmas shopping in London, whether you’re a first-time visitor and want to shop at all of the ‘must-visit’ stores or know the city well but are looking for something a little more alternative.

Let me know if you’re looking for something in particular! First up, department stores …

Liberty London

Trading since 1875, Liberty sells an assortment of clothing, footwear, stationary, luxury designer goods (handbags, scarves, etc.) and beauty products year-round, as well as it’s famous fabrics.

The Christmas shop opened on Level 4 in September (Chris and I visited the very next day – yes it was early for festive shopping but we just adore the Liberty Christmas Shop!) selling beautiful decorations, alongside cards, advent calendars, books and old-fashioned tins of biscuits and other edible gifts.

The main reason this store holds such a special place in my heart is simply because it’s one-of-a-kind.

Shop Liberty London online, or visit Great Marlborough Street, London, W1 (Oxford Circus tube station).

Liberty London

Liberty Christmas Shop 2011 Fairylights

Selfridges

A ginormous cavern of everything anyone could possibly need, from technology to beauty to high-end and high street fashion.

Selfridges also sells luxury advent calendars including the world’s most expensive – which retails at a staggering £18,000 and contains miniature accessories from designers like Vivienne Westwood, Rupert Sanderson and Alexander Wang! Read more in my post about the Selfridges White Christmas launch party I attended earlier this year.

(Selfridges is also home to the biggest shoe department in the world, the Shoe Galleries, which displays 4,000 pairs of shoes at any one time!)

Shop Selfridges online or visit Oxford Street, London, W1 (Marble Arch or Bond Street tube stations).

Selfridges White Christmas 2011 Ultralounge

Selfridges White Christmas 2011 technology gadgets

Harrods

Besides all of your obvious gifts (perfume, fashion, technology, food), Harrods boasts the one thing London’s other department stores don’t have – and the one thing I really love about it – a pet store! Here you can pick up a puppy alongside your Prada and your perfume but it will set you back £1,500+!

If you already have a dog why not bring it and drop it off at the Harrods Pet Spa for a spot of pampering while you concentrate on whittling down your gift list?

Shop at Harrods.com or visit Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW1 (Knightsbridge tube station).

Harrods Christmas 2011

Harrods Christmas 2011

Other UK department stores …

- Marks and Spencer

- House of Fraser

- John Lewis

- Debenhams

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