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Beauty Bite: Autumn Eyes

When we come towards the Autumn and Winter months, I always like to start bringing bolder colours, styles and looks into the mix. For me, summer is a time of soft shades, simple looks and natural beauty, but it’s time to wave that goodbye, now that the cold has really hit us! Bring out the deep tones and dramatic looks.

So I’m going to talk about eyes. I’ve always loved the smokey eyes look, but it can be just too dramatic for the daytime, so I’ve played around and modified it a bit to come up with a couple of bold smokey eye looks for the season that are just played down enough for the daytime, but could be given a little extra oomph to take you into the evening.

I’m still working off my initial Autumn colour palette, and here I have a softer-brown based eye look, and a dazzling blue look!

IMG_0154All the kit you need: Clinique BB Cream, Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara, Yves Saint Laurent Radiant Touch, Nars Liquid Eyeliner, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Bare Minerals Foundation, Clinique Toast of the Town Eyeshadow Palette, Clinique Galaxy Eyeshadow Palette.

For Both looks, I do my simple and basic every-day skin make-up…nothing dramatic, just some eyen coverage and a nice smooth canvas on which to work. I’m a big advocate of the ‘Just play up one key feature’ stance, and for me, it tends to be the eyes, but you can have too much of a good thing…don’t play them up too much all the time!

For the face I start by applying the Radiant Touch to any areas of discolouration (dark circles under eyes really!) as it evens up the skin tone: I have blue undertones and the pink shade really balances my out. Next I apply a thin layer of BB Cream with the brush all over the face, gently padding it over the areas where I have applied the concealer (don’t want to move it around!) and then apply a light layer of the BareMinerals powder foundation over the top, using circular brush movements aroudn the face to really blend it and help it stick. Finally, a gentle sweep of brozer over the cheekbones and then I blend that in a little with the foundation brush, just to give a hint of bone structure without making the make up obvious.

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I love brown for the eyes, as it goes well with my skin tone and brings out my eyes (which are brown) but it’s not as harsh as black, which can wash you out. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a starkly contrasting black eye look against milky pale skin, but for a casual daytime look, I prefer the softer, more stubtle tones.

The eyes are really simple. Using the liquid eyeliner, I apply a very fine line of liner along the eyelid and just gently flick it out at the edges. This defines the eye but keeps it simple. Next, I use the palest shade of the palette and apply to the whole eyelid, bringing it right down to the inner corners of the eye to brighten and lift. Taking the second lightest, golden shade and apply to the eyelid from about 3/4 in and blend, sweeping all the way to the outer corner. Repeat with the third, darker shade from half-way in and then finally, a tiny touch to the outer corner with the darkest shade and blend. Simple, easy and gives great definition to the eys, making them lovely and big, but bright as well as subtly-smokey at the same time! Add a lick of mascara to the upper lashes, and just touch to the lower to bring the whole look together and make the eyes pop!

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I’ve talked about blue, and I think for a while people have been scared of blue on the eyes, reminiscing about the 90’s blue trends that saw us (if you’re of the 90’s generation like me!) parading around as pre-teens with vivid, horribly applied powder blue eyeshadow in a ghastly way. I’m trying to revivie it and move on from these times! You know what I’m talking about…

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This blue look work in the same way the brown does, but has a little more sparkle and drama. I couple of alterations and it would be perfect for a winter-snowflake themed look, with a hint of sparkle and flash of vivid blue.

Apply the liner as before and then follow the same steps with the shadow, starting with the silvery blue, and working your way progressively to the darkest tone at the outer corners. I bring the light shade righ down to the bottom corners of the eyes to really make them pop and stand out, but it’s a subtler look without this and still looks gorgeous. The hint of sparkle in two of the shades on the palette really give the look an edge and you could take it further and more dramatic very simply for a great little evening look!

Eyes blue

I love to colour coordinate…In fact obsessed by it, and I think ti can really help bring a whole look together. I wear the brown look a lot, as I often wear muted and tan tones, but if I’m wearing, say, red, I don’t necessarily want to bring red to the eyes for a day-time look, so I will use the neutral brown look then as well. What’s great about the blue is that it jumps out and you don’t have to do much at all with the rest of your face or hair, and it’s bright and bold enough to hold its own. If I’m wearing a blue dress, or shirt, or accessory or whatever, the blue in the eyes really demonstrates thought behind the outfit and brings everything together, the outfit complementing the eyes and the eyes making the outfit stand out. Or at least…I think so!

Autumn is a time when we can truly reclaim the big, the bold and the eye-catching. Bring on the dark, berry shades, the deep blues and purples and the smokey, dramatic looks on eyes, nails and lips! But as always, try to pick to one area – lips or eyes – and play that up…it takes a brave girl to go for both eyes and lips…and for a party, great, but when we’re just going to the office, is it really necessary? Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more, it’s about knowing which is which…but there’s no harm in going a little Bolder this season!

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Fashion Bite: Autumn Staples

Fashion Bite: Autumn Staples

Now that i’ve got my Autumn/Winter colour palettes down, it’s got me thinking about the staple pieces and looks for the new season!

My first priority when the weather gets cooler is always warmth. I get cold easily and nothing makes me more miserable, so staying toasty and warm is my main priority; but I like to look good whilst doing it! I could get all bundled up in ski-gear and not dive a damn, but I’d rather not…so I’m looking at ways to layer and cover up whilst still looking good and stylish!

I have my colours…now I need the Pieces!

Cable-Knit

I’m loving cable knit this season, and it’s everywhere and in every fabric and style. You can get thick, chunky cable knit pullovers, or fine, fitted cashmere. There are cardigans and v-necks, crew-necks and roll-necks, but whatever your weave of choice, cable knit is a must!
Cable Knit
Open Cable Knit Cardigan in Grey – Massimo Dutti. Carrie Jumper in Cherry – Crew Clothing. Cocoi Cable Knit Top in Dark Grey – L.K.Bennett. Classic Cable V-Neck in Cerulean – Crew Clothing.

The Jumper-Dress

I’m sure you’ve all caught on to my love affair with Hush by now, and they have a gorgeous selection of jumper-dresses, in all shapes, fabrics, styles and colours, so you’re spoilt for choice. But it’s not only Hush, they’re being featured in many a line this season, and it’s not hard to see why. We all want to be warm and cozy, but why stop a sweaters and jeans? You can be feminine, chic and still stay warm with a cute little cashmere tunic and some thick tights and boots. Super chic and still toasty warm!
Dress
Felted Wool Dress in Burgundy – Hush. Cable Knit Maxi Sweater in Natural Cream – Massimo Dutti. Long Sweater Dress in Dark Charcoal Marl – The White Company. Bobbina Pointelle Knit Dress in Cobalt – Reiss.

Corduroy

I used to be against corduroy, but I’ve grown to love it recently. It’s thicker and therefore warmer than jeans – why do you think farmers wear it? – and this season it’s available in a huge variety of styles and fits as well as a great range of vibrant tones that have turned it into a statement piece and a staple for this season!
Cord
Skinny Cords in Ecru – Hush. 1969 Real Straight Cords in Ruby Wine – Gap. Skinny Corduroy Jeans in Charcoal – Jaeger. Cord Skinny Trousers In Ink Blue – Toast.

The Ankle Boot

I adore ankle boots and they’re all over the place this Autumn. In leathers, suedes, velvets…and with buckles and cut-outs and high heels and flat heels. It’s almost worth getting them in every colour and style imaginable as they can be the focal piece of any outfit. Just make sure you wear ankle-crops to really show off your boots – chelsea, cut out, jodhpur or side buckle. Whatever your look, there’s a boot to go with it!
Boots
High Heel Ankle Boot With Straps in Black – Massimo Dutti. Leather Ankle Boots in Blue – & Stories. Carnaby Boot in Praline – Boden. Leather Ankle Boots in Red Dark – & Stories.

Masculine Tailoring

Especially with the monochrome colour palette, a sharp cut shirt with fitted blazer and straight leg trouser is a look with which to make a statement. Be bold and ultra-chic with hard lines and crisp, contrasting colours. It’s all about the shirts and the jackets; tuxedo, blazer, crop or a full-on overcoat can be the item that brings an outfit together and sets you apart. There’s a reason that men’s suit’s have never gone out of style, a classic look shouldn’t be messed with, but why should the boys have all the fun?
Masculine
Straight Wool Trousers in camel – Massimo Dutti. Tulip Snake Silk Print Shirt in Indigo – Reiss. Bethany Jacket in Mulberry – Hobbs. One Button Blazer in Black – & Stories. Classic Drape Shirt in Cream – Jigsaw.

Accessorize, Accessorize!

It’s all very well layering up, but they accessories are what finishes the job. Scarves, wrist warmers, snoods, hats…well they’re all seasonal musts, but this season, make them the statement piece…the central focus of your whole outfit. Wear a vivid-red scarf and wrist-warmers with your monochrome shirt and jacket…throw on some animal print to liven up your neutral look or even just focus on the details and ensure that your belt matches your shoes and bag and that each different element fits in seamlessly with the rest of your outfit. Whatever you choose to do with them, just remember that the accessories are the key to staying warm and looking good this Autumn.
Accessories
Textured Knit Mittens in Ecru – Hush. Erin Hobo Bag in Oxblood Red – Toast. Narrow Leopard Print Belt – Massimo Dutti. Tuck Stitch Snood in Taupe Marl – The White Company. Leopard Contrast Scarf in Blue – Anthropologie.

Cover these simple staples in a variety of this seasons colours and you’ll be sure you have a wardrobe where you can create a thousand outfits with the minimal effort. Classic looks are classic looks for a reason, but you can always make them your own!

Fashion Bite: Casual-Smart Workwear

I’m working as an intern for a PR company at the moment, and the office ‘dress-code’ is ‘casual’…
…But then, we’re often going to events or meetings with clients at the last minute, so I suppose it’s really ‘smart-casual’.

Now, I’ve always hated the ambiguity of this term, but it is the only term that fits: so I need to find a way to bring some ‘smart’ to my everyday clothes, so that I can go to an event at The Guardian, or whatever, and not be completely underdressed.

So, I’ve got three basic looks that I go with for work, and I can mix and match and wear different combinations but I know I always look professional but understated and I’m not over-dressed for a casual day at the office!

OUTFIT 1

I love this outfit because it’s fun, it’s relaxed and soft, but with the silk shirt, heels and blazer it still looks smart. It’s versatile; I can wear some grey suede flats which makes it much more casual, and put on the jacket and boots for an instant lift to the outfit. The coloured jeans add a sense of fun and keep it low-key, but the silk shirt gives a proffessional air, and I think that cardigan just brings the whole outfit together – and it’s cashmere, so it’s been keeping me warm in these past few Autumn weeks!
Jacket: Massimo Dutti Cardigan: The White Company Shirt: Reiss Jeans: Boden Scarf: The White Company Boots: Boden

OUTFIT 2

This is another of my favourite outfits. It’s a little more masculine than the last outfit and has a more ‘stylish’ look, rather than ‘pretty’. It’s a classic combination of jeans, shirt and jacket, but it’s such a great combination with thousands of ways to go. Blue jeans automatically say casual, so the black chelsea boots give it a more dressed up look and the patterned silk shirt, tucked in with a nice belt smartens it further. I specify tucked in because I feel that untucking the shirt immediately brings it back down to casual; another demonstration of the versatility of this outfit! Once again, the cardigan brings the whole outfit together, tying with the black boots where the blue shirt ties with the blue jeans. Then throwing a nice black blazer over the top brings the whole thing to a more professional look, as well as adding those all important thermal layers!
Jacket: Massimo Dutti Cardigan: L.K.Bennet Shirt: Reiss Jeans: Gap Scarf: Crew Clothing Boots: Boden

OUTFIT 3

Once again, I find this to be such a versatile outfit. I would wear it on a lazy sunday around the house, but I can so easily dress it up to be suitable for work and anything else that may come my way! The tan jeans with the simple white camisole and pale jumper are very simple and casual, but with the addition of my favourite boots and a nice necklace the whole outfit has a much more put together and smart look to it. Add the jacket and, although it’s still quite casual, it gives a more polished look to a comfortable and casual outfit. Then add the scarf for a burst of colour to lift the whole outfit!
Jacket: Massimo Dutti Jumper: Massimo Dutti Camisole: Banana Republic Jeans: Boden Scarf: Zara Boots: Boden

As you can probably tell, I’m big on staples. I don’t think anyone can have too many pairs of jeans, shirts, cardigans, jumpers, jackets, boots or scarves. And with a variety of styles and colours in these few items, you can put together a thousand and one different outfits!

I tend to find a good thing and then keep going with it: I love Massimo Dutti jackets, and know they are well cut and fit me well, so I get them in a whole load of varied styles and colours!…I loved the style and feels of the Boden Chelsea boots, so I buy a different colour every season! (Or so it seems; I got the black ones last winter and the grey this summer in the sale.)

I have real problems with jeans; I have very narrow hips, so finding a well made pair of good-fit jeans is tricky for me; 7 For All Mankind, Levis’s, Gap and, I’ve recently discovered, Boden are the only places where I can get decent fitting Jeans. So I buy them in all colours!

With a few staple items: Jeans, shirts, jackets boots and an assortment of accessories, you can create hundreds of different outfits to suit every occasion, whether it be a casual day around the office or drinks event with clients. By mixing and matching, you can suit every need and turn an everyday outfit into a smart, stylish and professional look. A classic combination is classic for a reason!