Saturday, 27 October 2012


So I thought it time to 'upgrade' to Wordpress: more customability (made that word up, #likeaboss), more funtimes. THETYRANNOSAUR.COM

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Saturday, 13 October 2012

A Little Update

I've been rather MIA of late, so thought a little life update was in order!

Source: here

1. I moved house at the beginning of September! My new flat is only half a street down from my old house, but it's been a big step for me as I've moved in with my boyfriend. Everything's wonderful so far; no arguments, no mould, and so much more space! We have a rather noisy upstairs neighbour and the bedroom doesn't get sunshine through the window until late afternoon but it's mostly just brilliant. I've been collecting some little decorative bits and bobs here and there, but I'm trying to restrain myself as I'm very conscious that we'll be moving out again next summer.

2. I'm now fashion editor for The Saint, the independent student newspaper for my university! I am SO excited about this, you wouldn't believe! I've already interviewed some local independent boutiques, and reviewed an art gallery opening (Selling Dreams at the McManus in Dundee - I'd highly recommend a visit if you're in the area), with more events in the pipeline.

3. I've started a new job - as well as working at the restaurant on weekend evenings, I now do a couple of shifts a week at a local boutique, Pretty Things, where I work as a shop assistant and also run their social media sites! This is another thing I'm super excited about - I've written blogs for them, helped co-ordinate photo shoots and created newsletters, as well as doing stuff on Facebook and Twitter. Another job that I'd never done before, and totally loving it! All the staff and customers are super lovely too, that's always a welcome bonus!

4. Classes for my fourth and final year as an undergraduate are well under way. This is absolutely terrifying - I still don't really have any clear plan about what I'm going to do when I graduate (aside from moving somewhere cheap with my boyfriend - Glasgow, optimistically). I don't know what I want to do for a career, although writing for The Saint and working for Pretty Things has made me thing that I want to do something media-related. This is why I think Glasgow would be a great move: I'd hopefully be able to get a job in a shop or waitressing to pay the rent, and could spend my spare time bugging BBC Scotland/newspapers/magazines to pay attention to me! We'll see what happens.

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

FRESHERS: Outfit Inspiration

There's only another ten days or so before freshers' week kicks off here in St Andrews, and I've found myself reminiscing more and more about being a fresher myself since I'm about to enter my fourth and final year! I remember spanning such a range of emotions, from feeling so nervous I made myself sick to being so excited I couldn't concentrate on anything! In hindsight, I should have channeled some of that nervous energy into considering what clothes I would take - instead, I basically packed everything I owned! I ended up with a massive Harry Potter-style trunk (which now, put on its side and opened up, doubles as a wardrobe for my winter coats - that's how big it is!), three large suitcases and numerous other holdalls and cardboard boxes.

I had absolutely no need for all this crap, and I don't think anyone else would either! Even the most hardcore fashionistas end up recycling items of clothing at some point, and although it can be nice to have lots of different outfits to fall back on, you need to remember that your parents will not be happy if they have to hire a van to bring all your stuff back home multiple times a year! I still have way too much stuff, but there is a much more even spread across my boxes stuffed with clothes and those packed full with books - and everything can fit in the boot of a car! It can be tempting to bring everything you own to uni, but remember that life becomes so much easier if you have a few wardrobe essentials that you can fit into a holdall to travel between home and uni with and build many different outfits around.

With that in mind, I've compiled a few different outfits and essential items that you'll almost definitely need for freshers' week - whether a fresher or a 're'fresher like me!

You'll most likely have travelled up in this outfit, and depending on how far you're travelling (I live about 6 hours away!), you'll probably want to dress for comfort. But don't forget that this is probably the first time you'll meet the people who you'll be living with, not to mention other people dotted around your halls, so you don't want to be wearing your oldest leggings and a ratty hoodie! (don't even think about wearing your leavers' hoodie - nobody cares what school you went to, and if they do, they won't be impressed by a hoodie. seriously.)

Keep it simple with some worn-in skinny jeans, a decent-sized bag to stash your essentials (so you don't need to worry about unpacking straight away), and a comfortable-but-stylish lightweight jumper. Stay on trend with some glittery loafers and an embellished collar necklace - which can be recycled for that night's outfit, hooray!

Jumper: H&M (£19.99) // Collar necklace: Miss Selfridge (£18.50) // Jeans: Topshop (£38) // Bag: ASOS (£65) // Slippers: ALDO (£30)

You'll be tired after travelling, moving in, and introducing yourself a zillion times - but the show (or the party) must go on! Make it easier for yourself by recycling some items that you wore earlier in the day. On my first night, we had a meet-and-greet in my halls' bar and then went on to the union - save your clubbing outfits for later on in the week, on your first night you'll probably just be exploring and getting a 'feel' for the place! This drop hem dress (so Victoria Beckham) can be dressed down for daytime or dressed up for a night out, as here - such a gorgeous, bright red!

Collar necklace: Miss Selfridge (£18.50) // Dress: Topshop (£42) // Bag: New Look (£15.99) // Cardigan: H&M (£14.99) // Slippers: ALDO (£30) // Bracelets: Dorothy Perkins (£10)

At some point during freshers' week you'll probably get the chance to go along to a little 'meet and greet', where you'll meet your tutors and classmates. This is pretty nerve-wracking if you haven't yet met anyone on your course, especially as there'll be lots of free wine on hand! My advice: err to the 'smart' side of 'smart casual', wait until the professors have left before you start necking the wine, get to know the phD students - they'll probably be the ones marking your essays in your first year.

Jeans: Topshop (£38) // Jacket: Miss Selfridge (£35) // Shoes: ALDO (£75) // Top: Topshop (£35) // Bag: New Look (£15.99)

In the next couple of days I'll be compiling a similar post dealing with the first week proper of university - what to wear to your first class and how to stay classy in the library whilst piled down with a ton of books - don't forget to check back!

And if you're looking for a unique way to decorate your new student accommodation, don't forget to enter my giveaway to get the chance to win a fashion illustration print of your choice from my Etsy shop, FASHION inked!

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Monday, 27 August 2012

Home Inspiration: Decoration

It's only a week or so now until I move into my new flat, and I am beyond excited! We'll only be staying there until I graduate, so only nine months or so (gosh that's terrifying!), but I'm determined to make it a pretty and welcoming place to live. I imagine we'll be spending a lot of time in the library stressing over essays and exams, so a comforting, cosy place to relax in afterwards is an absolute necessity!

I've been scouring Pinterest for decoration inspiration; because we'll be in rental accommodation, we can't do anything super permanent such as wallpapering (as much as I'd love to), but luckily our landlady-to-be is super nice and says we can put as many things up on the wall as we like! There's 5 rooms - kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, and study/studio - but they're all fairly small. The kitchen and bathroom are tiny, and I don't think there's much spare wall space at all in those rooms, so decoration will obviously have to be minimal in there! Enough rambling, on with the prettiness:

I've always loved having fairy lights in my bedroom; I think they're the most perfect mood lighting! They make the room so much more cosy and warm somehow. I love this intricate tree display, but will probably just settle for draping a load over the headboard instead. 

Artwork displays! I've accumulated so much art, postcards, magazine tear-outs and other such things, but most of it is languishing in a few boxes in my wardrobe. I love this display on the left, such a visual feast! This would be a good way to display current trends and inspirations above my workspace in the study/studio, but could be a bit overwhelming elsewhere in the flat. The hangers instead of photo frames (middle right) is such a good idea - it looks really fun, would be easy to switch different art/photos in and out of, and would be much cheaper than framing everything!

UGGGH that shower curtain is just too amazing! I'm not sure if our shower is a glass cubicle or not; if it has a shower curtain I am definitely definitely finding some way of getting something like this! Love the ribbon/tassel thing in the top left, very simple but effective way of adding colour. Also really want a drinks tray now!

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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Paintings Update #6

Striped Dress, print available here (£15) // Breton & Coral, print available here (£15)

Just a little update today; I have more new paintings, but I stupidly left them at my mum's house when I went home last week and forgot to scan them! She's posting them back to me though, so I'll hopefully be able to share them with you next Sunday - I know the anticipation is almost too much to bear. ;)

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

Top 10 This Week #6

Can we all just take a minute to admire how wonderful this Étoile Isabel Marant tweed-bouclé jacket is? Every few months or so I find a new piece by Isabel Marant that I fall completely and totally and inextinguishably in love with, a piece that I feel will find a solution to all my little daily woes and probably sort out all the world's debt, poverty, and violence in the process. This jacket is that piece. On first glance, it doesn't really seem like much. But look closer: see that soft, woolly texture that would leave you so lovely and snug of a cold winter's morning. That dark mossy colour so reminiscent of joyful woodland walks and dappling sunlight between trees (which also evokes the coming season's army trend, nice!). The ribbed collar and cuffs - school jumper nostalgia! - and loose, slouchy fit that would lend such a nonchalant yet pulled-together air to any ensemble; the insouciance that Marant does so well.

But at £405, one can but dream.

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First of all, I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to each and every one of you; when I first started this blog I thought I'd be lucky enough if my mum was the only person who ever checked it out (HI MUM I know you're reading this - answer my bloody texts!), but I've been watching my page views go up and up and it's honestly the best feeling in the world! 

Most of you probably know that I've been painting a lot this summer (see some of my past painting updates here), and have set up a little Etsy shop to sell some of my prints. As a big thank you to all you lovely people who've been reading my blog, I'm now going to offer one of you a print of your choice from my Etsy shop! The giveaway will run from now until Saturday 8th September, and you can choose any print you like, any size that's available - just let me know which one you like best in the competition form!

There are also a few bonus things you can do to gain extra entries - follow me via GFC (see the sidebar), 'like' my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, or tweet about the giveaway! As a super extra bonus, I'm also offering a discount voucher for my Etsy shop - type in the code HOORAYGIVEAWAY for a 25% discount off everything in my shop between now and Saturday 8th September!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Shop the trend: Baroque & Roll for A/W '12

This post is a competition entry for the House of Fraser blogger style challenge.

House of Fraser (or Rackhams, as my family calls it) is the first department store I ever remember going into. We have one in my hometown, and I used to go along with my granny on a Wednesday morning during the school holidays to have a look around the clothing and homeware departments, and as a special treat I'd get a big cooked breakfast in the restaurant there! It was in their little beauty section where my mum dragged me to get my ears (unwillingly) pierced, and where I bought my first 'grownup' style purchase: a tan leather handbag. I've always preferred Rackhams to Debenhams (too busy) and John Lewis (too snooty), so I was delighted to receive an email from them asking if I'd like to take part in their blogger style challenge!

The brief: to pull together a key look for next season, using pieces from House of Fraser. I found this a really difficult challenge; there are so many aspects of so many different trends that I love for A/W this year that I've had to restrain myself quite a lot from just bunging everything altogether and going completely over the top! I've decided to tone things down slightly by going for a muted palette, adding interest with embellishments (sequins and sparkles are a key component to my wardrobe) and textures (leather and chiffon are two of my all-time favourite materials).

1: Gucci F/W 2012 // 2: Givenchy F/W 2012 // 3: Balmain F/W 2012 // 4: Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2012

My theme? Baroque & Roll. Taking inspiration from Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Valentino and Gucci, I've created an outfit that encapsulates the opulence of Baroque-style prints, intricate embellishments and lavish fabrics whilst incorporating the more androgynous sleek silhouettes and leather and sheer trends.

Coat: Biba // Top: Warehouse // Clutch: Lulu Guinness // Socks: Falke // Earrings: Biba // Gloves: Dents // Shorts: Warehouse // Heels: Steve Madden
Think this has turned out with a slightly more Art Deco than Baroque vibe in regards to the print, but the effect is still there with the textures: the delicate lace top and striking leather shorts team up with the ever-so-strokeable (faux) fur coat. Knee high socks add a coquettish twist, but are definitely useful in defending one's legs against the cold winter air! Leather gloves and studs add a rock 'n' roll, fetishistic element, whilst I just couldn't help but include that amazing Lulu Guinness studded lips bag - outstanding.

Will you be buying into any of the A/W trends?

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Tutorial: DIY Bleached Dress

I wrote another DIY tutorial for my university newspaper, click through to The Saint to find out how to make this fabby bleach dress!

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Little Update

View of the Quarry & suspension bridge from the River Severn // Barn Owl named Louise
Last week I actually managed to get a couple of days off work, so I headed down to my hometown to catch up with my family. My boyfriend came with me so we did some touristy stuff, luckily the sun was shining so everything looked pretty! Granny gave us some tickets to go on a boat ride around the loop of the river; I took advantage of the free trip by indulging in a Long Island Iced Tea whilst on board! 

my new friends at the Scottish Deer Centre // a rather sad looking one-antlered deer - he won't be getting the ladies this mating season!
After spending some time in Shrewsbury we drove back up to St Andrews with my dad and little sister, who stayed for a few days for a little holiday. We packed so much stuff in - we spent a whole day at the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar (if you're ever in Fife, I'd highly recommend this, it was so much fun!) and another day wandering around town, visiting the cathedral and the castle and the beaches. My little sister managed to fit in some ice cream and chocolate fudge cake wherever we went! I was also working each night they were up here, so it's been pretty busy!

St Andrews' pier // exploring St Andrews castle

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Holiday Outfit Inspiration

This post is an entry for New Look & Daisybutter's #HolidayHop competition

Outfit #1: Travel Style

1: Trousers // 2: Vest // 3: Cardigan // 4: Hi-tops // 5: Scarf // 6: Bag // 7: Slippers
Comfort is my number one priority whilst travelling. These printed trousers are super-comfy pyjama-style - cosy and on-trend, perfect! The cardigan looks so soft and snuggly; it could double up as a pillow if the weather was too warm to wear it.

I always get really cold whilst travelling - especially on flights and buses where the air conditioning seems to be constantly set to Arctic temperatures - so I always pack a cosy scarf and a pair of slippers. In fact, I always carry a pair of slippers around with me everywhere I go! I like slipping them on during long seminars or library sessions; I'm much more likely to concentrate if I feel comfortable!

Outfit #2: Poolside

1: Bikini top // 2: Bikini bottoms // 3: Sunglasses // 4: Corsage // 5: Skirt // 6: Sandals
Brightly-coloured jungle print bikini + metallic sandals = ultimate poolside wear. With a flower corsage in your hair and a cocktail in your hand, you can't lose! Add a cute and lightweight striped jersey skirt for wandering over to the bar.

Outfit #3: Beach It

1: Bikini top // 2: Crochet top // 3: Sunglasses // 4: Backpack // 5: Keds // 6: Hat // 7: Shorts // 8: Bikini bottoms
I absolutely love this neon-y, ombre-y, aztec-y bikini set! It would look perfect worn with this crochet crop top and super short denim hot pants for a beachy festival vibe, or with these bright pink Keds and AMAZING pink leather backpack for a more sporty look.

Outfit #4: Sunset Supper

1: Earrings // 2: Wedges // 3: Dress // 4: Cardigan // 5: Clutch
I thought it'd be a cute idea to dress for a 'sunset supper' by wearing the colours of the sunset! Adore this multicoloured tribal print dress, and I just can't get enough of these purple wedges - I need these in my life! Add some super swingy earrings and a chic clutch bag, and a cosy cardigan for a nighttime stroll along the beach.

Outfit #5: Beach to Club

1: Swimsuit // 2: Earrings // 3: Skirt // 4: Bag // 5: Shoes // 6: Bracelet
Now this is what I'd call a true 'beach to club' outfit: use your swimsuit as part of your clubbing outfit! Just slip off your flip-flops, chuck them into your bag, and add these amazing platforms and leather-panelled skirt. Accessorise with lots of bling!

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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Paintings Update #5

left: Vintage Swimsuit, available as a print here // right: Valentino Dress, available as a print here
White + Blue Stripes, print coming soon // Grey, print here // White + Red Stripes, print coming soon // Blue, print here

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Friday, 10 August 2012

Shopping on a budget: the easy way

This post is an entry for a competition over at

I love clothes. If you're reading this, you probably love clothes too. I love looking at clothes, and I love shopping for clothes, but I hate not having the money to buy what I want to. Years of this problem have meant that I've developed some finely-honed bargain-hunting skills, which I'll share with you here. 

Note: I'm going to be focusing here on designer and the more expensive end of the high street here, as the greater the saving, the greater the satisfaction!

Sales, sales, sales

My mantra for the past couple of years has been to never buy anything at less than a 70% discount, unless it's something that I've been tracking down for a long time or is absolutely perfect. Even then, I never buy it unless it's at least a 50% discount.

The biannual Net-a-Porter sale is my absolute favourite; throughout the year I get their 'new in' email updates and make lists of items that I like via their wishlist feature, then when the sale opens (end of December and end of June) I see which ones have been discounted. The first discounts rarely go above 50%, but a couple of weeks after the sale has opened most get discounted to around 70-80% - wait for these further discounts if your patience can hold out!

Net-a-Porter's sister site, The Outnet, has huge designer discounts 365 days a year, but the sizes are pretty limited and I've never managed to see anything I like there that would fit me. If you're an unusual size, or even if you're not, it's worth having a look there. My favourite outlet site though is Cocosa; they have regular flash sales (usually at least 50% off) and have recently started doing beauty sales as well. Their shipping is quick, unlike other discount sites like BrandAlley - their stock can take 4-6 weeks to ship!

My favourite discount site for shoes is Shoeaholics. They mainly stock the Kurt Geiger brands, but also have some stock from designers such as Acne and H by Hudson. The discounts on this site are amazing - sandals from £5, heels from £18, and boots from just £19! There's a great range of sizes available too, so no need to panic buy if you're a size 5 like me!

If you're hunting out a specific item, ShopStyle is completely indispensable. Just type whatever you're looking for into the search bar, and it will show you all the sites that currently stock that item - and the prices it's going for. You can limit the search to just UK sites, or you can include international sites too, which often work out cheaper even when you work in the shipping costs! There are so many different search options that make it easier to find exactly what you want: as well as the usual size and colour, you can search by items that are on sale or which shop they come from. 

1: Adidas by Stella McCartney // 2: A.P.C. // 3: Hervé Léger // 4: Joseph // 5: Elizabeth and James

Quick fixes

Student Discount: Don't forget to use your NUS card to get an extra 10 or 20% off certain sites - and if you don't have one, use the website UNiDAYS to get the same benefits without paying the NUS fee! If you're not a student, you can sometimes just type in a random number at the checkout and it will accept your discount - I did this at Topshop a few weeks ago and saved an extra 10%!

Exclusive Discounts: Sign up to brands' newsletters, Twitter and Facebook pages, and you'll often find exclusive offers and discounts for their followers! Urban Outfitters send out offers for 20% discounts and free shipping almost every week, so it's worth waiting a few days if you've got a big order sitting in your online shopping bag.

Voucher Websites: Sites such as are great for scooping up any discount codes from newsletters, magazines, and adverts that you might have missed along the way - you'll very rarely have to do anything other than copy and paste the code at the checkout, so they're really worth spending a couple of minutes searching for!

1: French Connection // 2: Miss KG // 3: KG Kurt Geiger // 4: KG Kurt Geiger // 5: Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony

Other Useful Sites

ASOS: Usually my one-stop shop for anything fashion-related; ASOS often have great sales, and though it can take a while to shift through everything, the site is super-fast and their search options are really useful.

TK Maxx: If sifting through rail upon rail of really unappealing clothing isn't up your street, check out their website instead. There's a fairly good selection of stuff, but I haven't found anything that I really wanted there yet.

Buy-a-Powa: Mainly beauty products, sold at huge discounts through their co-buy scheme. The more people who buy a certain product, the cheaper the final sale price goes! A pretty fun (but addictive) take on discount sales.

Girl Meets Dress/Wish Want Wear/Cinderella Me: If you've got your heart set on an Alexander Wang but won't be able to afford one in the foreseeable future (a girl can dream, right?) why not try out a rental site? You'll get to keep your favourite designer item for a few days after hiring it for an absolute fraction of the retail cost, and then send it back without having to worry about the dry cleaning bill! Sites like this are especially good if you want a dress or some shoes for a special occasion such as a wedding or a ball, where you know you're unlikely to wear the item a second time but still want something special.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Basic White Shirt: Revamped

This shot from this week's Net a Porter magazine really caught my eye. I love the combination of the crisp, tailored white shirt with the fetish-inspired chains and belt and the romantic flowing skirt.

net a porter magazine, basic white shirt, wardrobe essentials, evening wear, white shirt
Net a Porter magazine

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Monday, 6 August 2012

A/W Wardrobe Planning: Leather Bag

I only have one leather bag that I use during the daytime; a black satchel. It's comfortable and roomy and goes with everything, but it's just pretty boring. This winter, I want a more colourful bag that will brighten up any outfit and make me want to go to class on a dark and misty November morning.

I'm not really sure what style I want; I usually go with satchels just because I can be sure that they'll fit everything in, but I've realised that I don't really need one that big. I usually carry my laptop/ipad in a separate case, and I use moleskines to take notes in class rather than A4 notepads, so it doesn't necessarily need to be huge. I'd prefer leather, just because it's easy to clean, feels nicer than faux leather and is more durable and more waterproof than canvas. And I want it to be colourful!

colourful leather bags
1: ASOS // 2: Zara // 3: Jaeger // 4: Aspinal of London // 5: Proenza Schouler
Absolutely, completely in love with this Jaeger bag - it's such a perfect shade of cherry red. I love that there's a short handle and a long handle, too, so you can sling it over your shoulder or hang it off the crook of your arm. I'm so, so tempted to buy this! It's currently half price - £149 instead of £299 - on the Jaeger website. 

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Student Halls & Rented Flat Decoration Ideas

1. Check with your university/landlord before you arrive

First things first, find out what furniture you'll actually have in your room. Almost everywhere will have the basic bed, wardrobe, desk and chair, but you might want to buy a bookcase or chest of drawers for extra storage. Bear in mind that you'll have to move any furniture out again at the end of your lease, or even over Christmas holidays depending on your university.

Also check if your landlord is happy with you putting things up on the walls. My uni didn't want anything on the walls at all, but there were already marks on the walls when I moved in so I did it anyway, and just took everything down for inspections. My first landlord also didn't want anything on the walls, but I used white-tac, which leaves less residue than blu-tac, which was fine. My current landlord specifically asked us to use drawing pins rather than blu-tac. He's also been great at letting us hammer picture hooks into the walls and adding shelves!

2. Add individuality with the basics

You can easily spruce up any room just by buying a few of these things - no effort required!

duvet sets, h&m duvets, ikea duvets
1: Ikea (only £3!!) // 2: Ikea // 3: H&M // 4: H&M
A nice duvet set (with extra cushions and pillows) is a must, as the bed will probably be the most prominent piece of furniture in your room. Make sure you find out what size bed you'll have - in first and second year I had a king-size bed, but now I have a single! - so you can buy the right sized sheets. Duvets and cushions can easily be dragged into living rooms and communal areas to make film nights with your housemates even more comfy.

rugs, student rugs, urban outfitters rugs, argos rugs
1: Urban Outfitters // 2: Ikea // 3: Urban Outfitters // 4: Ikea
Most university accommodation (and a lot of rental properties) have horrendous carpets and curtains. While you probably won't be able to replace the flooring, you can easily buy a nice rug to cover it up - these are also essential if you have laminate flooring, which is absolutely freezing in winter! You could also replace the curtains with a pair of your own, as long as you store them safely and replace them when your lease ends.

photo display ideas, heart photos
left // right
You probably already have a collection of posters, postcards, photos, and concert tickets. Most hall/dorm rooms will have a large noticeboard above the desk for you to use, you could pin any photos you have onto here. Alternatively, you could hang them on the wall, or on the sides of wardrobes or other furniture.

plants, fake plants, flowers, fake flowers, fairy lights, novelty lights, string lights

Plants - or if you're likely to forget to water them, fake flowers - instantly make a room look more homely and inviting. I also love fairy lights, as they give such a warm and cosy glow, but if your landlord has banned these, you could get a lamp with a soft glowing lightbulb.

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Top 10 This Week #4

top ten, favourite fashion,
1: Mimi Holliday // 2: Dorothy Perkins // 3: Dolce & Gabbana // 4: Hudson // 5: Mela // 6: River Island // 7: Dune // 8: Chinti and Parker // 9: Maison Martin Margiela // 10: New Look

Found some pretty good contenders for my favourite ankle boots this week - I'm particularly tempted by the Hudson ones as they're 1/3 of the price of the Rag & Bone ones, plus as they're on the Topshop website I could use student discount and I have a voucher... I might actually buy them this weekend!

I'm absolutely loving this Dolce & Gabbana dress. I'm going to head to the charity shops this afternoon to see if there's a ridiculous duvet cover/curtain I can salvage the fabric from to make something similar. 

Also in desperate need of some new slippers - these New Look ones are brilliant - as I keep tidying my room and not finding any of my old ones! I have 4 single slippers, all different styles and patterns, but none of them matching!

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Friday, 3 August 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge Day #3

As I said yesterday, Fee of Makeup Savvy is running a 15 day nail challenge, and I'm going to try and take part in as many of the challenges as possible! 

Day 3's topic is 'chic'. I was a bit unsure of how to approach this at first, but then decided that for me, French style is the epitome of chic, so what better way to showcase chic in nail form than in a French manicure? I used a base of Mavala's 'Liberty', as yesterday, then coloured in the tip with a sweep of Barry M's Instant Foil Effects in shade 151. I used a top coat of Rimmel's Lycra Pro Matte Finish - I used to use this as a top coat all the time, but have neglected it a bit lately. I love matte nails though, they're so unexpected!

nail challenge, nail art, french manicure, gold french manicure

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Thursday, 2 August 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge: Day #2

17's Limited Edition Best of British Nail Art Kit caught my eye the other day as I was looking for a new makeup bag in Boots; I thought it was really good value for only £5, containing a trio of red, white, and navy nail polishes, each with brushes made smaller for easy nail art. 

Fee over at Makeup Savvy is running a 15 day nail challenge, and day 2 is 'pattern' day, so I thought I'd test out this new 17 Nail Art Kit! I used a Mavala nail polish in 'Liberty' (from a Latest in Beauty beauty box) as a base coat, then the 'Mini Skirt' colour from the 17 Nail Art Kit to add a little starburst design to the corner of each of my ring finger nails. 

nail challenge, nail art

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Favourite Products: July

favourite products, july favourites

I love reading monthly 'favourite product' posts on other blogs so I thought I'd do my own version featuring my own favourite products from July! I've discovered some great new products this month through random Superdrug purchases and little sample treats in beauty boxes.

favourite products, favourite makeup, l'oreal lumi magique bb cream, mua bronzer

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream (Fair)

I bought this on a whim at Boots when I lost my old No. 7 BB cream, and I'm so pleased I purchased it! It claims to give 24 hour hydration, have SPF 12, and 'smart pigment capsules' to even out skin tone and cover imperfections. The BB cream comes out white, and as you rub it into your skin the pigment capsules feel kind of grainy and it soon changes to match your skin tone. It doesn't feel particularly hydrating on me, despite its claims - I think if you have drier skin this might not be the product for you, but I have oily/combination skin and feel that this actual helps combat this! It has pretty good coverage and I usually find myself skipping concealer when wearing this. It feels totally light on the skin, making it perfect for hot summer days. This is definitely my favourite BB cream (I've also tried No. 7, Maybelline, and Estee Lauder), although I bought the Garnier oil-free one a few days ago so I might have to retract that statement soon!
£9.99 at Boots and Superdrug

MUA Bronzer (Shade 2)

A couple of weeks ago Superdrug had a 3 for 2 makeup deal on, so I bought quite a lot of MUA products as they were just too great a bargain to pass up - most of the MUA products are just £1 even without promotions! I don't really tend to wear bronzer that much, so I actually use this product as an eyeshadow - the soft bronze-brown shade is perfect for adding a little bit of neutral colour during the daytime.
£1 at Superdrug

favourite products, favourite hair products, aussie hair serum, batiste dry shampoo

Aussie Curl Definition & Soft Feel Serum

I usually wash my hair before I go to bed and let it dry overnight, but whenever I blow dry it or let it dry naturally during the day time, I always add a few pumps of this Aussie hair serum to the ends and mid-lengths. It smells pretty good (I guess this is the Jojoba seed oil) and does an excellent job of calming down any frizzy bits or fly-aways. My hair isn't particularly curly and I haven't really noticed it holding any extra curls, but it leaves the ends of my hair SO soft! I think I originally bought this to use with some rollers, but I never have enough patience to blow dry AND manually curl my hair!
£4.99 at Boots and Superdrug

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Cherry)

THIS SMELLS AMAZING! Seriously, it smells SO good. Even my boyfriend commented on it! I don't really use dry shampoo that much, but after receiving it in a Latest in Beauty monthly beauty box I threw it in my bag when I went to stay at my boyfriend's for a few nights (I have this weird fear of washing my hair in other people's houses). Batiste is a pretty popular dry shampoo brand so I think most people know how it works and how effective it is - the selling point for me for this is definitely the gorgeous smell! I'm almost tempted to wash my hair less just so I can use it more!
£2.99 at Boots and Superdrug

favourite products, favourite skincare products, botanics facial scrub, balance me moisturiser

Botanics Purifying Face Scrub

I really like using a facial scrub a couple of times a week to refresh my skin a little, and this particular Botanics scrub is amazing for doing that - it contains hibiscus which is apparently a natural brightener and skin smoother, and it definitely feels and looks like it works! My skin always looks perkier and more awake after using this. Besides hibiscus, this face scrub contains apricot seeds and walnut shell which do a great job of removing dead skin and impurities. I love the packaging too - really bright and colourful!
£2.66 (usually £3.99) at Boots

Balance Me Moisture-rich Face Cream

I think smell is a key factor to most of my favourite products, and this moisturiser from Balance Me is a great example of that! It smells deliciously like Turkish delight and I just can't get enough of it! I got this sample in a Latest in Beauty beauty box, and although it says it's for normal/dry/sensitive skin (I'm oily/combination) it still works fantastically for me, and is definitely my favourite moisturiser. It works a little bit like a primer, smoothing the skin, evening out skin tone and diminishing pores. It contains Arctic cloudberry (like my favourite Koppaberg cider, brilliant!) which apparently prevents moisture loss and improves elasticity. All I know is that I'll be really sad when my sample size runs out, but I'll definitely be repurchasing this!
£24 at John Lewis

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Back to School: Wardrobe Planning

About this time of year, my mum would always take me shopping to buy my new school supplies: stationery, bag, uniform and shoes. I loved getting all my new things ready for the coming year, arranging all my new pens into my pencil case (remember gel pens? pretty sure I had upwards of 100 of those!) and choosing the all-important school shoes.

When I left school and went to uniform-less sixth form and started buying my own clothes and stationery supplies, this little ritual seemed to fall by the wayside, but I seem to have picked it up again since I've been at uni. I suppose it sort of ties in with me thinking about the big items I want to introduce to my wardrobe for the upcoming season. Winter is always my favourite time for dressing; I love layers, and woolly jumpers, and the dark reds, greens, and blues that always come out during this time of year.

In the perfect world, my winter capsule wardrobe would look very much like this:

wardrobe planning, winter wardrobe, winter accessories
1: Rag & Bone // 2: Underground // 3: Vagabond // 4: Zara // 5: Proenza Schouler // 6: Topshop // 7: Topshop
I blogged about these Rag & Bone boots yesterday; they're still perfection. I have a pair of Underground creepers already, but they're bright pink suede and pretty unsuitable for incessantly wet Scottish winters! These leather ones are much better; as are these leather Vagabond flatforms in comparison to my usual suede Topshop ones.

The Proenza Schouler PS1 is my absolute dream bag. This has been on my 'when I have enough disposable income' waiting list for a really long time, and will be staying there for the foreseeable future! Perhaps if I manage to clear my overdraft this year it could be a graduation present to myself. The Zara bag is in the sale right now, and I might buy it in the next couple of weeks. While I like to keep my shoes black, I like to inject a little colour when it comes to bags, especially in winter when everything is pretty dreary.

I love leather gloves in winter; woolly ones just seem to cumbersome. I've lost one of my old leather gloves which is such a shame as they fitted perfectly! I have really small hands, so it's quite difficult to find gloves that fit properly. My mum once bought me a pair of children's gloves with little puppets on the end, they're my absolute favourite but completely impractical! This Topshop leopard print scarf is gorgeous. I'm totally for regarding leopard print as a neutral.

wardrobe planning, winter wardrobe, winter clothes, winter fashion
1: Topshop // 2: River Island // 3: Topshop Boutique // 4: Burberry London // 5: Topshop // 6: Acne // 7: H&M // 8: Collette by Collette Dinnigan // 9: River Island // 10: Faith Connexion
Black skinny jeans and a black skater skirt: I like to keep it simple. I've already blogged about my perfect pair of black skinny jeans, but I'm really nervous that they're being discontinued! They're in the sale on the ASOS website but there's barely any sizes left - they'd better keep stocking them or I'll have to go on yet another hunt!

A Burberry trench coat is the ultimate classic wardrobe item, isn't it? My granny bought me a well-fitting and comfortable trench from Zara Kids last year, but this Burberry London one would just be the dream. 

Love this Topshop boucle cardigan. I find this style is perfect for slipping on in the library or coffee shops during the colder periods; they're super warm and cosy but look a lot more elegant and put-together than a hoody! 

I think it's pretty obvious that I love stripes. This H&M dress is an absolute bargain; the material also contains alpaca which I can confirm is SO warm! I've also developed a slight (read: major) obsession with this Faith Connexion dress. I really really hope it makes it to the NaP sale, or I find something similar somewhere else. I'm looking out for a plain navy dress as I can easily add the collar and buttons myself. Let me know if you see something similar!