Friday, 24 May 2013

Memory Lane, We're Here Again, Back to the Day.

Wearing: Heart Swing Dress from Carousel*,
Gold Brogues from Primark and Gloves are vintage.

How completely whimsical and fanciful is this beautiful dress from Carousel? Once again, while the world is completely roaring twenties mad because of The Great Gatsby, I'm still stuck in the fifties. I don't mind, I've always done things differently. When I knew this beautiful dress was on it's way to me I immediately knew when I was going to wear it and, last Saturday, I frolicked off to Wembley Arena for the very first time to spend the night singing and dancing to my favourite band McFly. Having read that  their theme was the 1950's I knew I wanted to dress up for it whether anyone else did or not and this dress was the perfect number as it reminded me of that stunning dress Lea Thompson wore as Lorraine Baines in Back to the Future. When I first stepped out in this Phil gave me a smile and told me how much I suited the style - I'm a lucky girl. 

It fits like an absolute dream! It has an elasticated back that lends to contouring to your body in the right places whilst making sure it flares out everywhere else. I love the beautiful peach/pink colour with the kitsch cream heart print which is also infused with tiny little polka dots. The fold over neckline, the ruched thick straps and the full knee length skirt are the perfect classic touches and, if you put all these features together you get an item of clothing that is really aesthetically pleasing! I've decided that I'm going to glam up this dress for Phil's cousin's wedding in a couple of weeks, so suggestions on a postcard please.

Carousel have some of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen, no exaggeration. While adhering to and acknowledging current trends, Carousel choose to work with independent brands with unique styles and twists while remaining essentially classic meaning they offer things that you'll be hard pushed to find anywhere else. Their selection is stunning and rivals what the high street stores can churn out undoubtedly; an absolute must-peep for vintage styled lovers. 

The gig was amazing by the way, I won't go into it too much but as I get older I get softer and I was an emotional wreck. It's McFly's 10 year anniversary this year after all and I've grown up with them every step of the way. Anyone who has a band or a film or a following that means something to them will understand whether or not you agree on the 'thing' at hand.

Do you like little gem shops like this? Do you find it refreshing to find such different styles or do you simply prefer the high street? 

Friday, 17 May 2013

Google+ Hangout with Swimwear 365 and Stylist Helen Boyle.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to take part in a Google+ hangout with Swimwear365, beautiful stylist Helen Boyle and some wonderful bloggers to talk this years hot swimwear and holiday trends. If you're jetting off someplace nice but not sure what style swimwear to go for, then watch our little hangout below to get in the know. Everything from prints, colours, cuts and embellishments to skin tone, hair colour, body shapes and problem areas were covered. 
Swimwear 365 cater for a range of shapes and sizes with '100s of styles to suit every body'. They have a really handy shape calculator which need 3 simple measurements; bust, waist and hips, to tell you which body shape you are. Armed with this new information and a sudden brazen attitude to head for a bikini over a one piece for the very first time in my life, my key question to Helen was about what I should be looking out for, for a size 14/16 hourglass figure. During the chat it became apparent that vintage and retro styles are great for my figure as it matches the 'classic' 50's hourglass look, these styles are also great because they aren't too scary or garish. In order to keep myself in proportion and balanced, matching prints on the top and bottom are great and slightly draw attention away from my non perfect belly. With my pale skin I need to avoid really harsh extreme colours like white, black, neons or block colours; navy and white is much more gentle for my skin tone and blend beautifully rather than stand in stark contrast with one another. I'm a great student aren't I?

After the hangout we were invited over to the Swimwear 365 website and asked to choose ourselves a little something. After my mini consultation with Helen regarding what to go for I plucked up the courage in a now or never sense and headed straight for the bikini section. Taking Helen's advice I picked out this classic polka dot number, it's similar to the one she chose for me but with slightly wider sided bottoms to hold in all my wobbly bits. 
I absolutely love it and it fits perfectly. As you'll see below I've a huge thing for vintage and retro swimwear styling so this is perfect. The quality of the fabric is fantastic, it's thick, lined and padded so no risk of nips being on show or thinking it'll go see through as soon as it touches water. The small strip of fabric between the cups is essential to bring some definition which is great for a bigger busted lady like myself, it's not only flattering but helps to keep the blighters where they belong! Keeping with security and the avoidable flip-flop fatalities, the straps are thick and secure which follow right under the arm to join with boned sides and a thick strip under the bust; there's also a great clasp at the back - no Carry On Camping moment for me!
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Swimwear365 are also hosting a wee competition over on their blog where you can win a spa day for two at a Bannatynes Spa, lovely! It closes on 20th May which is this Monday, so dive in if you want to get involved. You can find out more information here.

I never tire of classic styles and, as Helen said in the styling session, classic vintage and retro styles never get old. Whenever I think vintage swimwear I always think of the beautiful 50's bathing suits and two pieces and, of course, the stunning Esther Williams. While the world is going roaring 20's crazy thanks to The Great Gatsby, I'm going all fabulous 50's and this is my sole inspiration for this collage. The bikini and tankini are two of my favourite retro style pieces Swimwear 365 has to offer; you can't beat polka dots or halter necks when trying to recreate this era. I'm utterly smitten with this gingham dress, it'd look perfect with a pair of classic wedges to enhance the 50's silhouette while the pumps would look cute when layering up either piece with a pair of shorts.  

What were your favourite pieces Helen showed? I hope you found this helpful, I certainly did! 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

RapidShield Eyelash Conditioner

I've never considered taking care of and conditioning my eyelashes, but why not? They're not just a feature that can be enhanced for beauty but protect your eyes from dust, dirt and grit and take a heck of a beating from the elements and mascara. When you have lashes as sparse and short as mine with regular fallout you really do realise that you need to look after what you've got, even if what you've got isn't much.

RapidShield Eyelash Conditioner, part of the RapidLash range, is the wonder potion with 'triple benefits' that insists that 'Lashes will appear more conditioned with improved definition and luster*' over a 2 week period. Claiming to work on three levels, RapidShield aims to condition, shield, protect and nourish lashes; prime and prep lashes for mascara application and refresh/define by boosting volume and increasing shine and sheen. It's completely foolproof to apply, you simply use the thick bristle mascara wand to brush on the odourless clear formula where it dries almost instantly without a horrid sticky feeling. 

I've been using this product for over a month now and use it as a mascara base/primer and a conditioner to protect and nourish for those no make-up days. On application I do notice an improvement, my lashes fan out and lengthen slightly while mascara goes on more defined and volumised. After a few weeks small lashes I didn't know I had started to become apparent and my bottom lashes seemed to come out of nowhere. The differences aren't massively obvious but I've definitely noticed an improvement due to the condition they were in before. There is clear improvement on the fallout front too, I've not had any since using this even when going at heavy eye makeup with make-up wipes; this is probably due to the Sodium Hyaluronate which improves elasticity, Silk Amino Acids which act and repairing agents and Panthenol which seals in moisture and nourishment. There is absolutely no doubt that RapidShield has rescued my eyelashes from years of mascara abuse. At one point they seemed to start growing leaning together in small clusters so it's lovely to have them fan out again like normal.

Would I repurchase? I'm undecided, there's no doubt that it's done a great job, but would I pay £28 for it realistically? It's good for a beauty routine and a great addition if you want to look after your eyelashes but it isn't an absolute must have. I did really like it though.

Have you tried RapidShield or a similar Eyelash conditioner? Maybe you've tried RapidLash or RapidBrow, I'd love to know your thoughts and results.