Tuesday, 16 December 2014

What I Wore: Hearts and Fur

Embroidered Heart Jumper - Oasis | Hooded Fur Jacket - Zara

Just a quickie to share some snaps of my gorgeous new jumper. Isn't it cute?! My size was out of stock, so I got a size up, and lucky I did because it comes up a little bit small. It's going to be my Christmas Day outfit with some jeggings and my big fluffy fur socks. A pathetic excuse for a Christmas jumper, I know, but I wanted something I'd be able to wear throughout the winter.

I wore this out yesterday to go and see The War of The Worlds at The Brighton Centre. It was absolutely spectacular - a mix of on screen and on stage performers, a live band and strings section, a real life 10 ft tall Martian space invador throwing flames across the audience. And Shane Ward. In a military uniform. Apparently I was sitting there like this...*heart eye emoji*

My Dad's a musician, so I grew up in theatres going to musicals and live shows. Fun fact - I've seen Fame The Musical 108 times! Recently, I hadn't been to a show for a while, but now I've definitely got the bug back! There's always loads going on in Brighton, but being so close to London too, I'm thinking about booking The Script tickets at The O2, or heading to the West End to see The Lion King! I've wanted to see that for ages!

Have you been to see any bands or musicals recently? Any recommendations?

Monday, 15 December 2014

A new career in 2015?

Despite how much I am partial to a rant occasional moan about work, I know that I'm actually really lucky to have my job. Sure, working in marketing at my local newspaper is hardly the glamourous girly magazine job that I dreamed of, but still I'm doing the role I wanted in the industry I wanted to be in. Although the publishing industry is extremely challenging at times, I do love my role - creating marketing campaigns, planning events, working across lots of different topics and meeting lots of different people. My favourite project so far was creating a 'Win A Wedding' competition, and to attend the winners' special day and see all my hard work mean so much to someone was an incredible feeling.  And besides, there's still time to break out of local news and into glossy mags!

I'm by no means a career expert - but since leaving university in 2012, I have managed to get several interviews and been offered a fair few jobs (but ended up staying put after all!). So if you're thinking of a new career challenge in 2015, but are struggling on where to begin, here's my two cents of advice.

1. Experience
If you're looking to start out in a new industry, just get as much experience as possible. If you're lucky enough to be able to afford to intern - DO IT! I, however, wasn't in a financial position to work for free, so I got experience in other ways. I found a part time internship doing whilst earning money working in retail. I also did freelance bits & bobs, such as helping my friend market her Zumba classes, which looks impressive on my CV, and of course being a blogger has provided me with many skills that interviewers have found interesting.

2. The job hunt
Finding the right job site (or sites) for your industry is so important. There are so many specialist ones out there, for example, I always look to Wired Sussex for marketing/journalism jobs in Brighton, but it's also useful to be signed up to the big sites, like Reed or City Calling, for updates straight to your inbox (oh and obviously always check your local newspaper too!! :-)!)

3. Apply
Don't be too put off by job ads asking for years of experience. Sometimes other qualities (such as, in my case, writing and marketing my own blog) can substitute for years of in house experience. Create an ace CV that you can send out with your applications, but write each covering letter seperately, tailoring it to the company/position you're going for. I always try to start off with something interesting or relevant to their company - maybe a blog post I wrote about them, an article I read in their publication etc. Once, I applied to a video production agency, and made my CV into a short film. It definitely pays off to think outsite the box.

4. Dress to Impress
My boss has told me many a horror story about disasterous interview outfits she has seen. Spaghetti straps, see-through Primark leggings, leather pencil skirts... they're just not appropriate! I'm a big believer in using your style to make yourself stand out and show your creativity, but you HAVE to play it somewhat safe. My number 1 tip? Invest in a smart coat - it's no good being in a perfect outfit if you rock up at reception wearing a scruffy parka over the top - first impressions count!

5. Don't Give Up
So by now you should be sat comfortably behind your new desk, new business cards fresh from the printers. But if it takes a little while longer, don't give up hope. Negativity shows, and can lead you down a spiral of rejections. Just pick yourself up, learn from it, think of it as their loss, and start again.

As for me in 2015? We'll have to see. I'm looking forward to organising a health & beauty exhibition, then maybe someone at Women's Health will wanna hire me...?!

What's your day job? Are you lucky enough to be working in a job you love, or still waiting for the right opportunity to come up?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Lashes by Irene

I wasn't blessed with lovely long lashes. Mine are short and straight - even the best mascaras don't improve them much, and don't even talk to me about eyelash curlers.

I'd really wanted to get eyelash extensions since my sister-in-law wowed me with her beautiful long, curled and natural looking lashes, until she told me she'd paid £80 to get them put on and a further £30 every 2-3 weeks for infills. But then I found Lashes by Irene. Irene does affordable eyelash extensions (amongst other beauty treatments) at her home salon in Brighton and asks for just £35 for a full set of premium silk lashes and £20 for infills.

Irene is just lovely, she is so welcoming and takes great pride in her work, laboriously adding lashes for two hours until she knew they looked perfect. Her home is really relaxing, she sets up a treatment bed, had music on and aromatherapy oils scenting the room.

The finished look gives me long, lucious lashes that look and feel natural. There's no need for mascara (in the pictures I am only wearing mascara on my bottom lashes) and I am absolutely loving waking up in the morning being half made up already!

The treatment takes a long time, but boy is it worth it! I've already booked in for my refills in time for Christmas and I can't stop fluttering my eyelashes!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Personal Shopping @ Topshop Brighton

After years of rumours, we had all given up hope of a decent sized Topshop opening it's doors in Brighton. But last month, it finally happened. The new, massive, Topshop super store opened, and I was invited along one evening to check it out and test drive their personal shopping service.First of all, the store. It's bloody massive. Compared to the teeny corner shop sized topshop that us Brightionians had to put up with before, it has absolutely everything. A whole wall dedicated to shoes, a whole corner about the size of the previous store dedicated entirely to accessories, a petite section, partywear, outerwear and a denim section. And the topman area upstairs is just as big. The store has a special personal shopping area, where my appointment took place. I was shown through to my very own dressing room and introduced to my stylist Carla (who writes her own blog over at iwearmywages.co.uk). After a quick selfie (too horrific to show you, she's tall, slim and gorgeous and makes me look like a hobbit in comparison) Carla asked about my style.I told her that I liked classic, simple and girly, but as I had dropped two dress sizes I was keen to break out of my comfort zone and try some new things.Carla went off to pick me out some pieces, and returned with some things that I would NEVER have picked out myself. I had said I wanted to try new things! I tried it all on, and although it wasn't all to my taste, she had picked out some pieces that really suited my shape, like the orange floral shorts and top co-ords. It was a good experience to experiment with things I wouldn't go for myself, verify that some things simply weren't my style, but also discover some things that actually suited me!I'd also asked Carla to help me pick out the perfect pair of jeans. Classic, timeless, dark wash, comfortable, not too thick or too thin. She brought me just one pair to try on, and had hit the nail on the head. The Leigh Vintage Wash are exactly what I wanted! The best part? The personal shopping experience is totally free, and you're not obliged to spend anything. It's a fab way to shake up your style if you're stuck in a rut, or just to see what you discover when someone else is left in charge of dressing you!After my appointment I headed down stairs to see what else caught my eye, and...well I returned home with two bags full! I've already posted one of my outfits (here) and will be no doubt showcasing the rest of my haul on the blog at some point! 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Every Christmas, I like to invest in one special decoration to give pride of place to. Each one holds memories of Christmases gone by - whether it's something extravagant, like the silver tree topper that my mum and I picked out from Laura Ashley when I was little, or the little Christmas fairy in a jar that I bought as a teenager from my favourite shop in my hometown - I love to bring them out each year and be reminded of  happy memories.

This year I wanted to create some extra-special memories in my new home, so I jumped at the chance when Harrods invited me to review one of their luxury Christmas decorations! They have a truly decadent range of things to hang on your tree or put on the mantelpiece, but I chose something totally indulgent that would fill the entire flat with Christmas cheer...

This limited edition candle* from Acqua di Parma spreads an elegant festive fragrance throughout my flat - a warming mix of plum, amber, vanilla and cedar wood, balanced out by citrus notes of bergamot and orange. The candle looks beautiful placed on my mantelpiece, surronded by some simple holly and berries. The red wax is adorned with hand painted silver cloves, zests and barks to look like silver gems, which look magical as they glint in the glow of the candle.

It creates such a perfect festive atmosphere - I can't wait to stick on some Frank Sinatra Christmas songs and wrap all my presents by candlelight! And although the candle will eventually burn away, every time I catch a whiff of a similar smell, I'll be transported right back to the memories of Christmas 2014.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas Skincare for Him and for Her

There's nothing like unwrapping some luxury smellies on Christmas morning - the type of indulgent treats that you'd never splash out on for yourself. (well...)

Aromatherapy Associates are the kings of luxury smellies, and have got a lovely range of Christmas gift sets this year, my favourite being the Radiant Rose Box.* It's no secret that rose fragranced products are my weakness, and this box would be a dream gift to find under my tree. Inside the festive packaging, there's a super hydrating Renewing Rose Body Wash and a softening Renewing Rose Body Cream, both of which smell incredible. They leave the most heavenly, delicate rose petal scent on the skin which lasts all day, whilst providing all the nutrients and goodness your skin needs to feel soft and nourished. Completing the trio is a little bottle of the Support Equilibrium Bath and Shower Oil. It's a blend of rose, geranium and frankincense designed to comfort your soul and lift your spirits. 

And there's something for the men, from Aromatherapy Associates male grooming range - The Refinery. The Refinery Essential Kit* is a perfect gift for the man who appreciates luxury skincare, but likes to keep things simple. Inside the spacious canvas washbag is a two step male grooming duo. The Refinery Face Wash is a cleanser that deeply cleanses leaving a fresh sensation and brightens the complexion. It has refreshing citrus and spearmint, soothing lavender, and cedar wood which leaves a fresh yet woody smell. Step two is the Refinery Revitalising Moisturiser, which is packed full of anti-aging ingredients as well as essential oils to keep the skin nourished, hydrated and smooth. The combination of the smells from these two products leaves a manly mix of mint, citrus and woody fragrances that lingers on the skin.

*shameless plug* for more men's xmas gift ideas, check out my boy's new blog - www.theclassicmale.co.uk :)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Collection Galactica Lip Butters

Along with a new month comes a new addition (or two) to the make up bag, and for November, I said hello to three lip butters* from Collection's new Galactica range. What could be more perfect for the month in which the sky sparkles, than a shimmery, metallic lip?

Initially though, I wasn't convinced. Although they've re-branded, Collection (formerly Collection 2000) reminds me of my school days and some pretty horrific make up mishaps. Concealer lips...You know we all did it! The names of the shades - Cosmic Candy, Pink Punch and Moon Rock, didn't seem too sophisticated either. And the name of the range, Galactica, scared me... metallic cosmetics in general just make me anxious.

But how wrong I was. The finish of the crayons is just beautiful and hits the metallic trend on the head. With a subtle hint of shimmer, it nods towards the looks seen on the AW14 catwalks, without looking like you superglued some tin foil to your face. Rather than the galactic space lady look I was bracing myself for, I was pleasantly surprised with a pretty, sophisticated and wearable take on this season's metallics.

The texture of the pencils is also gorgeous - they're certainly worthy of being named a lip butter. The product glides on without any dragging sensation and combats dried out lips with a creamy, moisturising consistency. Ideal for this horrible cold weather!

The Galactica Lip Butters come in three colours: a vibrant magenta (Pink Punch), a pretty peony pink (Cosmic Candy) and my favourite - a nudey rose gold shade (Moon Rock). The latter I've been wearing pretty much on a daily basis. Me, wearing metallic make up, in the day time. Who'd have thought it?!

What are your feelings on this season's metallic make up?