Sunday, 24 August 2014

CLASHING PRINTS AND CONFIDENCE

Clashing your prints together has been a key trend for the past few seasons, but I just didn't have the confidence. I thought it looked great on everyone else, but when I tried it, it looked like I fired my entire wardrobe at myself with a cannon and just wore what stuck. Frankly a mess, but probably all in my head and more to do with my own feelings of self confidence. The whole reason I started the blog in the first place was to increase my confidence, because I felt I was really losing myself after my long battle with mental illness.


But thanks to my blogger chums, particularly the lovely Sophie from So Inspo, I've learned that if you want to try something, you should just do it. Even if it just a small thing, it is still a little victory that will boost your confidence so you can try the next slightly bigger thing. Who know what you can achieve if you keep at it.

So when I saw an amazing floral print faux leather biker jacket from QED London in TK Maxx, I knew I had to take it home with me to clash with my other prints. I decided to mix it with some nautical stripes in a smock dress I picked up in the USC sale for just £4 online...not to shabby.



QED London Floral Biker, TK Maxx - Same Here.
So if there is somethin you really want to do, get out there and do it. Or build yourself up so you feel like there is nothing you can't achieve. I have a long way to go with my self confidence journey, but it is all a great adventure.

Where do you find your confidence?

Gems x
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

ELEGANT TOUCH CANDY DIP REVIEW AND TUTORIAL


Sometimes working as a freelance beauty, fashion and everything else writer, you will find that clients sometimes disappear and your work is never published. During my work for online magazine Femside, I recieved some goodies from the lovely people from Elegant Touch to create some tutorials and reviews. The last one for the delicious Candy Dip never made it online, and I felt it wasn't fair to such a wonderful brand, so I have decided to publish it here on my own blog to give them the recogntion they deserve.

Indulge A Sweet Tooth With Elegant Touch Candy Dip

Every girl loves a bit of glitter, whether they will admit it or not – it brings a little bit of sparkle to our everyday lives. But, rather than dress head-to-toe in glitter and risk looking like a disco ball, us girls often like to add just a touch of the shiny stuff to our nails. But it is time we admitted it, glitter nail polish is an absolute nightmare...

Glitter nail polish is notoriously annoying to apply – if you want a decent coverage, instead of a few flecks of glitter on each nail, you need to apply coat after coat of the stuff, which takes forever to dry. So any little knock and the whole effect is ruined and you have to start all over again – for someone as clumsy as me, this is an almost certainly.

Then, when it comes to taking the polish off, you are in for a big job – you will find the glitter bonded to your nails stronger than Kanye West is bonded to his feelings of self-importance (sorry Kanye). You have to spend a frustratingly long amount of time soaking your nails in polish remover to rid yourself of the glitter, only to find bits stuck all over your hands for the following week. There must be an easier way.

Elegant Touch steps in to save the day once again. They have already solved the problem of getting a speedy manicure with their Express Collection and the problem of finding a long-lasting, super funky false nail with their House of Holland Collection; now they give us girls fuss free glitter nails that are easy to apply and easy to remove, with their new Candy Dip range, costing £4.49 each and available exclusively at Superdrug and on the Elegant Touch website.



With a range of four super sweet colours – Bubblegum, Peppermint, Lemon Sherbet and Blueberry Crumble – there is something to satisfy every sweet tooth. In your super cute box, shaped like a retro sweet shop, you get 18 double-side nail stickers, three pots of different glitters and an instruction booklet with idiot-proof step-by-step instructions.

So Let's Go To The Candy Shop

  1. Elegant Touch professional Nail File – other nail files will work, I just prefer the professional range from Elegant Touch as they are of really good quality, multi-functional and they last forever.
  2. Elegant Touch Professional Nail Buffer.
  3. Cotton wool pads.
  4. Your choice of Candy Dip, I have chosen the purple loveliness of Blueberry Crumble.
  5. A pair of clean, nail varnish-free hands that have been soaked in warm soapy water for five minutes to soften the cuticles.

You need a good canvas before you create your glittery masterpiece; you wouldn't paint the Mona Lisa on a grubby old napkin would you? So make sure your nails are well prepared before you get Candy Dipping, so you have the best possible nail surface so the sparkle lasts as long as possible.

  1. Push back your softened cuticles into the nail bed with your Cuticle Pusher.
  2. Use your nail buffer to smooth out any ridges and imperfections on the nail surface.
  3. File the tips of your nails to a smooth neat finish.
  4. Clean each nail with an acetone-based nail polish remover to ensure that the nails are free of moisture and natural oils.

You now have the perfect canvas for applying a sweet treat to your nails, whilst ensuring that they will stay healthy both during and after your glitter manicure. So, now it's time to get to the sticky part...

  1. Chose the correct size sticky tab for your nail, it should fit as snugly as possible to ensure that you get full glitter coverage on your nail. Choose the end of the tab which best fits your cuticle, the straight or curved side.
  2. Apply the sticky tab to the nail starting at the cuticle and smooth flat and even over the nail.
  3. File off the excess sticky tab to give a perfect fit to your natural nail and peel off the protective film.
  4. Get out your glitters and place on a flat protected surface (you don't want to have to vacuum up glitter for 10 minutes afterwards like I had to) and dip the entire nail into the pot of glitter; shake off any excess.
  1. Repeat for all nails with whichever glitter you choose.
  2. For longer lasting results, seal the glitter with a top coat – the topcoat is not included in the kit, but you can pick up a really good one for a few pounds. The top coat will prevent the glitter from shedding, so no random spots of glitter on your face, which is always a good thing.

All that is left to do now is show them off at every available opportunity – wave them round in bright sunlight to dazzle everyone in the surrounding area; they made me smile every time they caught the light, especially after being disappointed with glitter nail varnishes in the past.


So, How Was The Candy Shop?
I have to admit that I was rather sceptical at first when I got the bits and bobs out the cute box, I thought it would be a right nightmare to do and that there would be glitter everywhere except the nail. I couldn't have been more wrong. The moment you pop your nail with the sticky tab on into the glitter, it sticks fast and with a full and saturated coverage that is better than any glitter polish I have tried in the past. And the shine and shimmer is just dazzling – they really do sparkle and it only took me 10 minutes to do all my nails and get a really dramatic manicure.

Another of my concerns was that the stickers would fall off at the mere mention of water, but this too need not have been a worry. I wore my candy dip for three days and they lasted through many showers and multiple hand washes – the application of a top coat certainly helped in that respect.

When it did come to removing the sticky tabs, it could not have been easier – all you need to do is gently lift the wrap from the side of the nail and slowly peel off side to side, it takes seconds. If there is any sticky residue, it will come off easily with a little nail polish remover. There will be no damage to the nails after removal, they will be just as healthy as when you applied.

I do wish that there were more sticky tabs in the kit and there is only really enough for one full set of nails, but you can use the glitter in your other nail art projects, as it sticks rather well to nail polish, it will just take longer to remove. But, despite wishing there were more stickers, I would definitely recommend Candy Dip; I had great fun doing it and I loved the effect I created. For my next Elegant Touch Candy Dip, I am going to try an ombre glitter effect, so stay tuned for that one.

If you are a fan of Candy Dip, you will probably also like nail wraps – little stickers you pop onto your nails for an instant manicure. Elegant Touch have a great selection of nail wraps and here are some of the ones I have my eye on...the Acid Graffiti wraps are my absolute favourtie. 

 Elegant Touch Nail Wraps: 1) Leopard Aqua; 2) Acid Graffiti; 3) Dotty Hot Pink; 4) Deckchair Brights.

Also, hang onto your hats ladies as the seriously awesome new House of Holland collection is set to drop soon, my nails are tingling in anticipation.

Don't forget to check out my other Elegant Touch reviews and tutorials for their Express Collection and their House of Holland Line.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

JUMPING FOR JOY WITH BOOHOO

I am really trying to get outside to take some photographs for the blog, but when my own confidence is not holding me back, the weather is conspiring against me. When I took to the streets in this amazing Aria Neon Floral Capped Sleeve Jumpsuit from my online favourite Boohoo, the wind was surely at tornado level - my legs were almost whipped from underneath me in a comedy stylee a few times.

Neon Floral Jumpsuit, Boohoo - Same Here.
Biker Jacket, Matalan - Similar Here.
Nails, Primark - In store now for just £1

I notice lots of people giving me the eye in my jumpsuit - they were either jealous of the neon loveliness, or thought I was a little bit mad for wearing something so bright; the mad illusion wasn't helped by the birds nest hair caused by the aforementioned wind. I don't care what people thought, I love my Boohoo beauty - it fits like a dream, yet it is so comfortable and the colours just blow my mind.

Are you a fan of neon brights?

Gems x
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Monday, 11 August 2014

FORGOTTEN OUTFITS OF THE DAY - PART 2

A few weeks ago I shared with you a selection of outfit posts that I had deemed unfit for the blog back when they were first taken. There was many reasons the photos had been rejected - make up was drag queen like, I look too nerdy and butch in my glasses, the lighting was poor or you could see my little jelly roll, the result of years of cake abuse.

What I learned from this experience is that the flaws I so often see in myself are not visible to others. What you may see as a flaw other may see as something beautiful - I've long been a little bit conscious of my big ass teeth, but really, why worry they are nice and straight and have no staining. Plus I am sure to beat anyone in an apple bobbing contest.

So if you have discarded pitures because you think you look awful in them, I can tell you it is a cathartic experience just putting them out there, so here are so more to laugh at or enjoy, your choice...

How could I forget about my Topshop tea dress? I'm so sorry baby, I will never hurt you again.
Faux Fur Coat, Next.

I often feel a total dingus in my glasses, hence the eyes on the floor 'Dont Look At Me!'
Tee, Waxed Jeans and Metallic Vest, all H&M.
I just couldn't cope with the raggedy hair extensions in these pictures and I still hadn't mastered the tripod.
Printed Vest, Cheap Monday.
Printed Jeans, Dorothy Perkins.
Open Shirt, H&M
Checked Jacket, USC.
Rushed make-up application makes for a dirty lookin face, but I really do love this casual look, I'm sorry I neglected you.
'True Love' Tee, ASOS.
Leatherette Trousers, H&M
Over-the-knee Boots, New Look
Satchel, Next.
So many emotions in one set of photos, from super happy to fearful perhaps?!
Faux Fur Jacket and Short Sleeved Sweater, Next.
Zip Detail Shirt, ASOS
Skinny Jeans, Levis.

I've always been a bit conscious of my boyish physique (no boobs), and I think this outfit accentuates my lack of curves up top.
Striped Shirt, H&M
Blue Jeans, Dorothy Perkins

Studded Loafers, Matalan.
I absolutly love this dress and this outfit, but for some reasom my lips are black in almost every picture, what is that?
Dress and Tights, H&M.
I have never been comfortable with my bare legs, white, veiny and always riddled with mystery bruises :)
Dress, H&M.
So if you do decide to share some of your less than favourite pictures on your blog, please leave me the link, I would love to see them. I bet they are no where near as bad as you think.

Gems x

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Friday, 8 August 2014

WOULD TWIGGY WEAR THIS?


Shift Dress, Primark via Charity Shop.
Shirt, H&M - Similar Here

If I absolutely had to pick a decade of fashion to wear forever and I couldn't chose the fictional decade of 70's sci-fi movies (all that silver pleather), it would have to be the '60s. All those cute little shift dresses, mini skirts and cute collars, yes please! I couldn't stand all the hippy boho rubbish of the 70s; the constricting waists of the 50s (no room for massive cake wedges); or the leg warmers of the 80s, my legs are warm enough thank you.

So it is probably a surprise that I don't own many shift dresses - out of the 30+ dresses I have in my wardrobe, less than 5 are shift dresses. The problem is my butt - I have a really small frame, but have the ass of a J-Lo. It often doesn't fit in trousers, lots of jumpsuits are a no-no and shift dresses can be a problem. The cute litle shift looks a dream on the top half, but if I can wrestle it over my hips, it is so tight that a slight bend over can lead to critical seam rippage.

So this Primark shift dress I found brand new in a charity shop for the bargain price of £5 pound is a firm wardrobe favourite, because it goes over bum whilst still being able to walk. It was a little bit chilly on the day, so I popped my trusty H&M shirt on underneath and some fairly thick tights to keep the chill at bay.



What decade of fashion would you wear forever?

Oh and something for the anime fans, if you haven't already done so watch a film called Harlock: Space Pirate. Yes the title is lame, but the animation is the best I have ever seen.

Gems x

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Monday, 4 August 2014

OH KIMONO!


Kimono, H&M Jeams, Vest and Ballet Pumps, Primark - In Stores Now.
Thank you for all your messages of outrage over the boyfriend's stolen bike. Nothing has been found by the police and it looks like we wont be getting it back, it is very sad, but it is just one of those things. When I have been wandering around, I have been eyeing up people on bikes very closely, ready to rugby tackle anyone who may be on the stolen one, like the crazy mare I am.

As for me, I have been working out recently with the boyfriend - he has finally convinced me to do something about my body confidence issues, instead of moaning about my tummy, whilst sitting on the sofa stuffing my face with Pringles. My God the pain, it feels like I have been given the world's worst dead arms, and last week I could barely sit down; the toilet was my worst enemy, both trying to lower myself onto it and then trying to get up. Stupid weights.

As for the fashion stuff, I'm probably a bit late to the kimono party and I'm playing it a lot safer than most with my single colour, non fringed number. But, I have seen so many floral, tropical and aztec inspired kimonos, it made me longed for something simple, so thank you H&M to creating a range of kimonos that aren't so loud, no one can hear you speak over them. Plus lets face it, you only get a few months out of the year that you can wear them, so I wanted one that was sure to go with everything in my wardrobe.

Of course it had to be mint green, as I have had a major obsession with the colour this season, mainly because it makes me think of ice cream...mmmm ice cream.



Elegant Touch House of Holland Nails in Royal Explosion - Same Here
Do you guys have a thing for kimonos, and do you please have any tips for my aching muscles, oh the never-ending aching?!

Gems x

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Friday, 1 August 2014

THE PREPPY LEOPARD

I would just like to start with a message to the horrible little *bleep* who stole my boyfriend's bike yesterday: I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you return the bike now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you!

He had owned the bike for only haf an hour, after buying it from someone on Gumtree. It was locked up securely on a bike rack with a D-lock and we were sat just round the corner and some a*****le still stole it. I cried because I was so sad for him - he never treats himself, but is always treating me, so my little heart just broke when someone took his treat from him. It hurts even more as out other bikes were stolen less than 48 hours after moving into a new place last year.

So now that I have got my teary rant out of the way (me so sad) I can talk about the fashion stuff. I bought this ASOS skater dress and shirt in the post Christmas sale and they have been firm favourites since. The dress because it makes me look like I have boobs (and I so don't) and the shirt because it goes with everything, so I can get all wear round wear out of it, as long as I don't get tomato sauce or gravy on it and ruin it. That is a big ask with someone as clumsy as me.

Leopard Skater Dress, ASOS - Similar Here
White Shirt, ASOS - Similar Here



Elegant Touch House of Holland Nails in Tue Dye For - Same Here.


What are your all year round fashion essentials?

Gems x
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