Olivia Burton Bunny Watch

As it's nearly Spring, I mean we're no longer competing with the Artic on who's colder! I thought I'd show you one of the most recent additions to my watch collection. I fell in love with this little beauty (that also comes with a vegan friendly strap if you so wish) two Christmases ago. But as it went out of stock pretty quickly, I was only able to get my hands on it about April last year.

Although Olivia Burton has several animal illustrated watch faces (say that ten times fast!) I had to go with the bunny!

I've loved rabbits ever since I was little, my first cuddly toy was a rabbit...so was my second and third. My first was lost in a London taxi; thankfully I was too young to remember that traumatic incident; and the second kept losing its head, I lost count of the number of times my mum had to stitch it back on again. But my lucky third was "Raddit" (yes I couldn't pronounce my "b" apparently, and I was super original in the naming process) but she's been with me, and her little red dress and hat, ever since. 

Now while I can't go around with my cuddly toy anymore (I'm 26, that would be weird!) I can totally sport a watch that reminds me of her and the happiness that is Easter and the Easter Bunny. After all the dull winter months, it's impossible not to brighten in mood when all the flowers start to spring and the chocolatey eggy goodness is on its way!

That's not to say you can't enjoy this watch at any other time of year though, I've worn it plenty of times when the mood strikes, regardless of weather/season, and "Raddit" would be proud!

And guess what?! Olivia Burton have just released a new rabbit illustrated watch face, any guesses as to what I'm asking for, for my 27th birthday?!

Plus, they never fail to disappoint packaging-wise. This bunny watch came in a gorgeously illustrated postage box and they even added a little thank you card which I think is a lovely personalised touch.

What do you look forward to the most come springtime?

Any cuddly toy stories you would like to regale me with?

Do you own any Olivia Burton watches already? If so, which one? I'm slowly but surely building up my collection! ;)

 

xxxemma

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Winter Crossbody Bags

As spring has been delayed for a couple of weeks and we're currently experiencing North Pole kind of weather (I'm not kidding guys, we're only a couple of degrees warmer)! I thought I'd show you the two crossbody bags I picked up from Mango back in December.

And no! Before you think I still have my Christmas tree up, these are just older photos that I didn't get around to posting before Christmas, so you're getting them now. ;)

THE RED CROSSBODY BAG

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When it comes to bags I'm extremely fussy and hard to please. I dunno what it is, but I tend to naturally gravitate more towards shoes (as I'm sure you've gathered from my previous Velvet Shoes post).

However, Mango have been killing it in the bags department (scratch that...ALL departments as of late), and I couldn't resist this design. While these exact bags and colours are no longer available, they do still have a very similar design on their website (to the point that I can barely tell the difference); a red leather finish one with gold hardware here, and a black suedette version with silver hardware here (like the one below).

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The simple and classic design can be worn at any time of year although I personally styled them for winter here. Do be careful in the rain though, always use a protective spray first (which I have yet to purchase admittedly but shhhh...do as I say, not as I do!).

I got both jackets from eBay. The first brown dogtooth one was originally from Primark, the second red check one was from Next (but I've seen a couple on eBay since, so keep an eye out!). What can I say, I'm a big fan of checks! Mango also have some gorgeous check scarves in, including the red and cream one featured in my Burberry Brit Perfume Review post.

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I chose to pair both jackets with the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red which was a perfect match to the bag.

THE BLACK CROSSBODY

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As for the black bag (similar here), I felt this could be more of an evening bag, so I paired it with a black sequinned skirt that I also got from eBay years ago (but has no label so I don't know where it's from originally) and a bat-winged jumper from M&S, again years ago. To keep warm I would also be wearing heat tech tights and little black booties.

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There you have it, my two new additions to my winter wardrobe, although with all the fun colours they have, I make no promises that Mango won't tempt me again this spring (I have my eye on the lilac one).

How about you, any new bag additions?

Are you more of a shoe person like me?

What about the basket bag, are you hopping onto that trend or nah?

 

xxxemma

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Velvet Shoes

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!! Wishing you all the best on this upcoming year, and may it bring you all the goodness that you're hoping for. Personally, what better way to celebrate a new year than with three pairs of velvety party shoes to drool over?!


RED VELVET

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These red beauties (similar here) have to be my all-time favourite winter party shoe. Although my sequined boots (that matched my sequined dress perfectly tonight) might disagree, I think velvet shoes (especially heels) are a must when it come to the end of year party season.

Always elegant, especially with dark tights (which are a necessity when it's cold outside). The velvet texture makes everything look more luxurious (even if, like me, you only paid €5 for them at a Belgian Outlet Center Shoes & Fashion). The red does make things a tad Christmassy looking, but if you find a perfectly matched sequined dress, who cares?!

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BLUE VELVET

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As gorgeous as these heels are (also from the same Outlet), I found that if I wanted to wear them with tights I'd have to size down (at least till they feel just a tad tight). So that once worn with the slippery texture of tights they actually stay on.

A little trick I learnt from ballet class all those years ago was to spritz some hairspray on your tights if you ever want something to stick better.

Alternatively, you could wear a pair of ankle socks under your black tights (so they're not visible), which might make things a bit tighter and hence give better grip! Plus, you'll have the added bonus of extra warmth!!!

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GREEN VELVET

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Finally, you could just go for an ankle strap style of heel so you're sure to keep things secure (although after a few too many glasses of champagne who's to say).

These were a recent purchase from New Look (can still get them here), although I did have to go and get some extra holes put in the strap (news to me that there was such a thing as fat ankles?!!). Although with an open toe heel you do tend to see the seam of the tights, but I don't particularly mind.

On my toes, I'm sporting Revlon's nail polish in Bewitching (my go-to winter toe colour of choice).

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There you have it, three gorgeous pairs of velvety heels.

What do you like to wear on your feet this season? (Slippers are a perfectly acceptable answer)

Have you fallen for the velvet trend this season?

 

xxxemma

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Christmas Hairstyles

Along with Christmas jumpers and earrings, I also like to wear Christmassy hairstyles. Simple ones yet effective. Plus, you can wear both all year round, just swap out these particularly seasonal hair accessories for other more appropriate ones.

THE GLITTERY BOW

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I found this glittery red bow (similar here) in Asda George's kid's section, but shhh who's to know?!

To create this hairstyle, I combed the top section of my hair back parting it equally on both sides and Kirby gripped it (with two grips crossed over each other for more sturdiness) at the crown of my head, where I wanted the bow to then be placed. Once positioned how I wanted, I just slid the clip of the bow in between the crossed Kirby grips and voilà, an instant Christmassy hairstyle!

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THE HOLLY CLIPS

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This pair of holly hair clips came from Claire's, and the bonus part is that they JINGLE!!! Now unfortunately I couldn't find the same pair again to link to (I'm sure they'll come out next year) but in the meantime you can find some similar ones here.

For this hairstyle, you can either comb two side sections on either side of your head and clip (using the hair that would normally frame your face), or just one section on your preferred side (I showed both results in the pictures), it's up to you. :)

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So there you go; two super easy and quick hairstyles to try out. Hope you're all having a wonderful day.

What are your quick go-to hairstyles?

Have you also found some cute Christmassy hair accessories to wear during December? If so, would love to know what!

 

xxxemma

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Christmas Earrings

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!!!! Hope you're all having a fantastic day! As you'll know from my previous post I like to sport a few ridiculous jumpers during the month of December, but I didn't say that I also go all out with earrings to match! Usually I pick them up from Claire's (they always have a good Christmas selection) or Accessorize.

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THE GINGERBREAD MAN

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Of course we have to start with a true classic (similar in this pack here), these gingerbread men will stay this cute forever as they never get eaten!

THE BAUBLE

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Are more subtle and chic variation on the novelty earrings, you can get away with these on any occasion (similar here).

THE CANDY CANE

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Probably my favourite thing to eat during the holidays (yes people who eat the Christmas tree candy canes actually do exist), I love that I managed to find this pair a few Christmases ago (similar in this pack here).

RUDOLF

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We can't miss out Rudolf of course; the cutest reindeer of the season (similar here)!

SANTA

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And finally, the man responsible for all this joy...SANTA!!! Again a nice subtle pair (similar here) that goes very nicely with any cream jumpers, but I personally like to pair it with this one from Next feature in my Christmas Jumpers blog post. :)

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There you have it, my novelty Christmas earrings collection, hope you enjoyed it. And let me know if you have a favourite? Or if you have something different you like to wear during the month of December!

 

xxxemma

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Christmas Jumpers

When it comes to the lead-up to Christmas I like to sport a ridiculous jumper or two. While I have two that are coming tomorrow on Christmas Day (okay, I gave Santa major hints), I can show you the little collection I've accumulated so far. Now I know there is a trend to try and find the most ridiculous and "ugly" Christmas jumper out there, to sport during some holiday festivities, but these are not they! I like to think these jumpers are more on the tasteful side of things. But hey ho, you might disagree completely, in which case I need to quote Jessica from OutOfTheCloset "Christmas is about sparkle, and wearing things that other people hate", and I couldn't agree more!

THE PINKS

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These are the most adorable things ever, while the penguin one on the left came from Asda (similar here) and originally had a pom pom attached to its bauble hat - but one wash and it came off. Which I don't actually mind since although very cute, under a coat it's not so comfortable to wear, hence I've never felt the need to sew it back on. On the right, is a pink jumper from Marks and Spencer with a mummy and baby polar bear, made from white lace which is very beautiful! I've already had several complements about it, and I would love to be able to link it, but it's several years old. However, keep an eye on the M&S website, as they often do very chic interpretations of the "Christmas jumper" every year.

THE RED AND CREAMS

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The fluffy Rudolf sequined jumper is several years old and although I don't have it at hand to double check where it came from (either New Look or Next), Rudolf is a recurring theme at Christmas time so I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble finding something similar (e.g. here). The one on the right however is the perfect jumper for me, and I bought it THIS YEAR from Next (can't find the link for it though), so you might still be lucky and find it in store. Paired with a red lipstick (you can see me wearing this combo here), I think it's a nice, subtle yet funny nod to Christmas.

THE FLUFFY SPARKLY ONES

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More neutral in terms of ridiculousness...these jumpers just have a subtle sparkle to them, so could be worn all winter long, not just for the holidays! The peachy one (on the left) came from Marks and Spencer a couple of years ago, and the one on the right was bought around the same time from New Look (although this one sheds a bit). I have been on the lookout for a plain white fluffy jumper that doesn't feature Rudolf on it (although I love the one above, the design kind of limits it's wearing appropriateness), but have yet to find one that doesn't shed like a sheep...not quite the look I'm going for! :P

What jumpers do you like to wear during this season?

Or do you live in a much warmer climate/Southern Hemisphere in which case; do they make Christmas T-shirts? That would be so fun to see!!! I know my brother has always wanted to spend Christmas somewhere warm and beachy (this kind of vibe), but I'm quite happy with the cold! Although I do wish it snowed just for the 25th and then immediately melted the next day...is that too much to ask Santa for?!!!

 

xxxemma

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Winter Hats

Recently I've been really loving wearing winter hats. Not only do they keep your head super warm and cosy but they also hide greasy hair #bonus!!! If only it was socially acceptable to wear them during the summer, I'd be set!

THE BLACK DOUBLE POM POM HAT

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Anyway, I spotted the double pom pom style last year on Zoella's Vlogmas, but they had pretty much all sold out by then. However, a couple of months ago I spotted this beauty in New Look, tried it on, and knew it had to be mine! While I picked up the last one in store, they still have plenty online (and at a reduced price right now!). So, if you want to rock the cute fluffy bear look too, you can join me, I mean Paddington Bear would certainly approve! :P

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THE GREEN POM POM HAT

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While online, New Look describes this pom pom as blue, I would very much say it's more of a green/turquois-y colour. Already owning as checked scarf (from Accessorize years ago) and a Marks and Spencer coat in this colour, I just couldn't resist purchasing the hat to match!

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What do you like to wear on your head, during the winter, to keep you warm? I've been tempted to get a pair of ear muffs, but I have yet to find a pair that don't make me instantly look like Princess Leia. Maybe you've got some good recommendations?

How cold does it get where you live? We had a couple of days of snow here in Belgium, but it doesn't look like we will be getting a white Christmas this year either (sad face!).

Hoping you're enjoying the holidays wherever you are, either way!

 

xxxemma

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Summer Flower Crowns

Let's talk about hair; more specifically hairstyles. I've never been one to do much with my hair, even when I actually had it long enough (princess length a.k.a. waist length) to do anything with it.

The two main reasons for this were that: I had acne throughout my teens and early twenties and long hair is the perfect security blanket/curtain to hide bad skin behind. Secondly, I've always been the type of girl that likes my hair to be very, VERY low maintenance i.e. a quick brush-and-go type of thing. When getting ready, I spend so long on my makeup the last thing I want to do is then take extra time out for my hair. Plus, I'm lucky, my hair is naturally straight and always behaves itself no matter what the weather (yes I've always wanted curly hair, what can I say, the grass is always greener...). This isn't to say that I've never experimented with my hair, I've been a light blonde, strawberry blonde, ginger and brunette; I mean how else would you explain my "high school" title of "most likely to appear in a hair commercial"!

Anyway, now that my skin has more or less cleared up and I went for the big chop a couple of years ago, I find that adding a simple thing like a flower crown (or a bow, let me know if you want a blog post with those) can really change up your look, and it takes less than a minute to put on your head #winwin.

THE RED FLOWER CROWN

For this first look, before most of my curls had dropped out, I combined this red rosed flower crown (from Claire's here) with a red dress and a bold red lip (my trusted Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red) with my usual waterproof pencil eyeliner (Prestige in 08 Charcoal Brown) and blush (Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in 03 Berry Pop). Personally, I think the green leaves from the crown matches my eyes perfectly and combined with the red roses which matches the lips and dress makes for a very pretty look!

THE WHITE FLOWER CROWN

This look I think would be perfect for any bride who is going for a bohemian themed wedding, or really cute on the flower girls (you might have to find smaller ones to fit their tiny heads, so this adjustable one from Claire's which is similar, might be perfect for you!). For this look I just switched up my hair a bit by Kirby-gripping (bobby-pinning) half of my hair along the crown area (of my head not the actual flower crown!) and changing my lipstick to a combo of a nude lipliner (N°7 Precision Lip Pencil in Nude) and lipstick (L'Oréal Color Riche in 253 Blush In Nude similar here).

THE MINT FLOWER CROWN

I couldn't finish this blog post without at least one flower crown in my favourite minty colour!

For this look I took out the Kirby grips and because this flower crown is actually more of a head band and less of a crown it gives a bit of a different overall effect (similar here). Furthermore, since most of my curls had fallen out by then it also looks a bit straighter. But had my hair been a tiny bit longer, I would have attempted to repeat the 3rd hairstyle from my Best Dressed Wedding Guest blog post) which involved a side fringe braid (starting from my hair parting), then braided on the other side (starting behind the ear) in the French Style this time (i.e. adding hair as you go) to form a crown (got to sneak one in there somehow) and as you run out of hair reaching the lower right of your head, twisting it inwards (like a mini chignon); lots of pinning required...especially with short hair!

Makeup-wise I stuck to my previous nude lipliner and lipstick combo but I wanted to add a bright mint eyeliner above my brown one...you can just about see a turquoise-y tinge to my eyelids in the first photo but that's about it! So I'm going to name and shame and...shock horror it's a KIKO products that has let me down! Their new Tropic Heat Eye Marker in 02 really didn't work for me here (smudging all over the place!), But I'm not going to give up so easily as the till lady had a perfect minty winged eyeliner with a slight highlight using the white marker in 01, so it is possible! I just have to find the right trick to it. #crossingfingers

Okay, so I might have actually curled my hair for these three different flower crowns...only because I think they look better and give more of a "fairy wandering in a twinkly meadow" kind of vibe! Which my two burnt fingers clearly didn't appreciate what I was going for (a.k.a first time using straighteners to curl hair) but we got there in the end! Even if it only lasted about two hours (...remember when I said my hair is naturally straight?! Yap I meant it, it rarely holds a curl!).

Anyway, hope you liked it, and that my fingers' sacrifice was worth it?! Speaking of, I'm wearing Essie's Chocolate Cakes on my nails throughout all three looks (my favourite brown almost black polish...the name might have something to do with it too). ;)

What's your go-to summer hairstyle? Are you like me; must it require minimum effort?

Have you ditched the flower crown in favour of the choker like a certain miss Swift?!

What's the funnest hair colour you've sported so far? Wigs count!!!!

 

xxxemma

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Spring Trench Coats

As it's now spring, you would think this would be the perfect time to get the T-shirts back out...but this is not California and unfortunately in Belgium spring pretty much equates to rain and miserable weather (although we have been lucky enough to get a few good sunny days). So with April showers all round, it's best to stick to the rain coats and umbrellas folks! Plus, it isn't exactly warm either (I mean T-shirt weather only really happens in the summer and even that's a rarity!) but it's not all doom and gloom...think of all the pretty coats you get to wear!

Now I have a particular affection for the trench coat style as you'll know from my first ever fashion post here where I feature my gorgeous dark green one. But come spring, I like to stay on the lighter side of things and stick to more pastel and softer colours.

THE PINK TRENCH

Pink seems to have become the IT colour this season, which I really don't mind since I love pink and own quite a few pieces in my wardrobe already! But it seems to be the paler more pastel and even blush tones that have garnered everyone's attention.

After seeing a pretty pink trench coat in Marks and Spencer on a food shopping expedition (in Porte de Namur), but not being quite sure; it wasn't double breasted which I would have preferred, and the double breasted one wasn't quite long enough (I know I'm a fussy Goldilocks, what can I say?!) I walked into Zara, which is next door, and immediately spotted this beauty! It was perfect! Also since it was rather a recent purchase you can still find it in store! I'm usually a size 12, which is a medium, but I had to buy it in a large as the medium was just a bit too tight across the bust (and I have a small chest), so make sure you try it on before purchasing!

My usual go-to to style for such a statement coat is to pair it with an all black/neutral outfit and let the coat do all the talking. But this time I thought...nope, I'm going to crack out those sparkly Valentino Rockstud dupes from Buonarotti that you saw featured in my Marbella Evening Outfits post. I think this coat would also go amazingly well with this pair of embroidered boots from New Look that I've had my eye on for a while now (...if only money grew on trees!). Didn't quite manage to leave my "eternal black jeans" behind though...And because I'm just one of those weirdos (that likes to match my watch to my outfit), I also opted to wear my Ted Baker pink watch which again you've already seen in My Watch Collection post.

THE BLUE TRENCH

This one I bought in C&A during my university exchange year in Paris, which was almost 5 years ago now (time flies!). It was the last one in store and missing a belt, but I bought it anyway (similar here but not double breasted). But Emma I hear you ask; it does have a belt?! Well my little munchkins, that's because after picking an exact fabric colour match from Stragier (although with a shinier finish) and a buckle; Moira (my mum's seamstress) made one up for me...and isn't it perfect?!

This is me attempting to water my Dad's flowers, because the bucket matched my coat...the flowers did not survive the drowning; RIP flowers!

Again I kept the rest of the outfit pretty neutral and matched my shoes (similar here) and watch (similar here) to the coat.

THE NEUTRAL/CLASSIC TRENCH

Maybe colour isn't your thing, even in spring...in which case this is a great alternative and of course a true classic: the pebble/beige trench coat. This one I like to wear open with the belt tied into a nice bow on the back, having pulled it in a bit so the coat still looks cinched in. And because I just can't miss out on colour completely I like to wear it with a bright red lip, like this Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red. I think also adding a red crossbody bag (like this one) would look cute and would give that extra pop of colour (not a great option if you're avoiding colour though).

For shoes, I've got my standard black booties from New Look (similar here), a classic black watch (similar here) and my glamorous sunglasses (similar here) featured in my Sunglasses Lookbook to complete the chic look.

There you have it, my three go-to trench coats in the spring/summer.

Which one is your favourite?

Are you as obsessed with pink as everyone else is this season?

Do you like the trench coat style, or do you prefer to rock a different cut? Do you even have to wear a coat in the spring where you live?

 

xxxemma

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Marbella - Evening Outfits OOTN

So a couple of weeks ago I was on holiday with my family (parents and big brother) in Marbella (a Lifestyle post will be coming soon). As we were staying in a rather fancy hotel it meant "dressing up" for dinner. Now, although we stayed there for 12 nights I only have 6 outfits to show you because although some might say I'm an excellent/Tetris Master suitcase packer, even I have my limits (stupid weight restrictions)! So I know...I know I'll be forever known as the "outfit repeater" (admit it, you have that Lizzie McGuire scene playing in your head too), but I think changing up the accessories can really change a look and if that means more room to bring back shopping then I'm all for outfit repeating! (Disclaimer: 6 bikinis and lots of day outfits might have also been packed along with too many shoes but I'm totally blaming the evening outfits for my lack of space).

 

THE RED DRESS

Dress: This is a gorgeous dress I got a couple of years ago from New Look (similar here and here). It was originally meant to be a more casual day wear dress, to be worn over a bikini, but the length and gorgeous rich bordeaux colour means it has no problems transitioning into an evening dress.

Jewellery: I paired this dress with a beautiful turquoise earrings and necklace set I got more than 10 years ago from Marks and Spencer (sadly I haven't seen anything even remotely similar since). Now, although I had never previously even thought about pairing turquoise and bordeaux together, they went surprisingly well (they are split complement colours...who knew?!). The only earrings and necklace I could find in a similar vein were way more navy blue, but I think they still work (and I found a more turquoise set here).

Lipstick: L'Oréal Color Riche in Laetitia's Pure Red, but any dark wine colour would do.

Nails: If you saw my latest Essie Summer Collection 2016 post then you would have already seen this Mojito colour by Be Creative Make Up. Furthermore, it lasted surprisingly well against my sunscreen. If you've ever worn nail polish and then applied sunscreen, then you'll know that it has a tendency to mattify/dissolve the polish.

Shoes and Bag: See below

 

THE BLACK SEQUIN DRESS

Dress: This dress I got about 5 years ago from Quiz (known for Prom Dresses). At the time it was the last one in a size too big for me, but now it fits perfectly...struggling to breathe means it fits - right?! I particularly love this dress because it's very glamorous and super easy and small to pack, #winwin. I've found something similar here but it's a long version which you could either get shortened or leave as is, whichever you prefer.

Jewellery: Now this is a big #fail since you can't actually see the earrings I'm wearing. But with this dress I like to wear statement grey coloured earrings (similar here and here) to match the sequins. Because the sequins are such a statement, any necklace would be a bit too much, so I usually leave my neck bare for this one.

Lipstick: Sephora Lip Liner To Go in 17 Light Brown.

Nails: Nothing on my hands (I know, what's wrong with me?!). But on my toes I'm wearing Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Color in 21 Pink In The Park which I wore everyday, so any toe polish you see is definitely that one.

Shoes and Bag: See below

 

THE CREAM SEQUIN COMBINATION

Skirt and Top: I saw this skirt and top combo hanging on a hanger in Zara, two years ago, and just knew I couldn't buy one without the other. The soft, almost Grecian, quality of the top compliments the harsher crystal studded skirt perfectly! Although I couldn't find anything similar; the key to this look is really a pleated top (and here) with a short sequined/embellished skirt (I found a gorgeous light blue combo too: top here and skirt here).

Jewellery: You can just see the earrings I'm wearing peaking through in the picture below (on the left). The evening I wore this outfit I had spent the day tanning (.i.e. going from snowman coloured to a slightly warmer shade of marshmallow) while my Mum, Dad and brother went to a shopping mall and spotted these stunning earrings in a Spanish jewellery store called José Luis Joyerías. Although technically a Christmas present, I got to wear them early just for this outfit...YAY!!!! :)

Lipstick: My trusted N°7 Precision Lip Pencil in Nude of course.

Nails: Nothing

Shoes and Bag: See below

 

THE BLUE DRESS

Dress: I saw this dress on the H&M website in the beginning of Summer but after two visits to my local H&M in the hopes of trying the dress on and figuring out my size, with no luck and the stock dwindling online, I gave in and made a lucky guess in an online order. I got my usual size (UK12 EU40) but I think I could have afforded to go a size down because of the extra fabric on the top half and the elasticated waist.

Jewellery: On one of the days I forgoed tanning and went with my family to our neighbouring shopping mall La Cañada (it was a 5 minute drive from our hotel) and discovered Bijou Brigitte (costume jewellery galore!) where I bought these gorgeous ice blue statement earrings.

Lipstick: Again my N°7 Precision Lip Pencil in Nude.

Nails: Nothing

Shoes and Bag: See below

 

THE PINK DRESS

Dress: Since I was small I've been lucky enough to know/have a seamstress. The brilliant Moira Paton is my Mum's friend and mostly does skirts for her, but she will occasionally do some adjustments/repairs and even dresses for me (when I find the perfect fabric that is, a rare occurrence...I'm fussy!).

The silk fabric in question was a leftover from one of my Mum's skirts and with an extra purchase of a meter Moira was able to make this dress for my birthday (she had to work off a previous dress she had made in the same style since we had lost the original pattern...just goes to show how talented she is!). This dress is therefore unique and I can only really link this dress which is in the same colour range and this one that has a similar shape.

Jewellery: Similar ones here.

Lipstick: Bourjois Rouge Edition in 07 Fuchsia Graffiti.

Shoes and Bag: See below

 

THE BLACK & GOLD DRESS

Dress: The most versatile of all the dresses (switching up the belt creates a whole different look), I got this dress from New Look about two years ago (it came with the gold bar belt). I haven't found a dress that comes with a gold belt per se, but I have found a black dress in a similar cut here and by buying this gold belt here you can easily recreate this look yourself.

Jewellery: Because the gold belt is quite a statement I don't wear a necklace with this dress either, but I did pair it with some big bold gold filigree earrings, similar here.

Lipstick: Sephora Lip Liner To Go in 17 Light Brown.

Nails: Nothing

Shoes and Bag: See below

 

THE SHOES AND BAGS

The White Shoes: I got these from El Corte Inglés many years ago, on an earlier holiday to Spain. Although I couldn't find any with a similar floral strap pattern, New Look have a pair of strappy white sandals here.

The Gold Clutch: It comes from New Look a couple of years ago, but they have two very similar ones out this year here and here

The Red Shoes: ...So I've had these shoes close to 15 years now (yes my feet stopped growing pretty much at the age of 12) the insole is completely caput, but you would never know it when I'm wearing them! I've found a pair of red strappy heels, minus the sequins unfortunately, here. Fun fact: these were also my first pair of "real" high heels (not the toy plastic kind)...yes when you're 12, kitten heels are high, okay!

The Red Clutch: You probably recognise this clutch from my Best Dressed Wedding Guest post but as the alternative I found then doesn't exist anymore. I've found two new alternatives here and here (I personally bought mine on eBay).

The Black Shoes: Still currently in stock in New Look here.

The Black Clutch: I can't really remember where I got this clutch but I've found a pretty beaded alternative here. They also carry a gorgeous turquoise version here which along with the turquoise jewellery of the first outfit would go amazingly with the bordeaux dress.

The Nude Studded Shoes: If you know anything about shoes then you'll know these are an imitation of the Valentino Rockstud Ankle Straps. But since I don't have a spare €720 lying around (maybe one day I will be able to spend that much on shoes...but not yet!) I was super happy when I found these gorgeous lookalikes for just €35 in Buonarotti! If you're like me and shudder at the price of the originals, but aren't travelling to Spain any time soon, then I've also found other good imitations on eBay.

 

There you have it the 6 evening outfits I wore whilst on holiday...hope you enjoyed it!

What are your favourite outfits to wear in the evening?

Do you remember your first pair of "real" heels? Better yet, do you still have them too? :P

What's has been your best designer imitation find?

 

xxxemma

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Sunglasses Lookbook

So a couple of weeks back we had glorious sunshine...you wouldn't know it by the miserable weather we are currently experiencing though (the radiators came back on again people!!!!). But apparently we are due to have another heatwave soon, so perfect time to bring out the sunglasses.

With sunglasses you have to be careful, certainly in my case, since most make me look like an overgrown beetle. Here is a chart that will guide you on your sunglasses shape choice; but first you have to know your face shape! Mine I would categorize as "long", which means that since forever I thought aviators would be the only shape that suited me (hence why they make up most of my collection). Didn't stop me from trying many different shapes on though...did someone say beetlejuice? Anyway, through shear persistence, this year I found a few other shapes that suited me: the clubmaster/browline and the wayfarer! So just goes to show...never give up on your sunglasses dreams guys!

 

LOOK 1: RETRO MINT - Clubmaster/Browline Shape

This clubmaster/browline shape is the closest I'll ever get to a cat eye (which don't suit me). It's a very 50s inspired shape that I chose to pair with a 60s influenced outfit (big rounded earrings with a distinct collar), I also wore my eternal black skinny jeans so this outfit is really a mishmash of eras with a modern twist...or so I like to think. :P But have no fear, I recently bought a polka dotted mint dress from Apricot (that I've had my eye on for more than a year and which finally went into sale...patience is key! :P) so I will be a 50s fashion reincarnation in no time...my hairstyle might give me away though!

Items Worn:

  • Sunglasses: From Claire's this year so you might still find them in store (couldn't see them online though).
  • Lipstick: N°7 Precision Lip Pencil in Nude under Sleek MakeUp True Colour Lipstick, Sheen in 775 Liqueur (beautiful but I think I had an allergic reaction to it, so might not wear it again...still needs testing).
  • Nails: Essie Gel Couture Nail Colour in Zip Me Up. If you haven't seen the Gel Couture line in Di (where Essie is usually sold here in Belgium) it's because for some reason they decided to only sell it in Planet Parfum (which doesn't carry the normal Essie line)...no idea why these two Essie lines needed to be separated by shop, but if you were waiting for it to appear in your local Di you'll be waiting a long time.
  • Top: From Dorothy Perkins a couple of years ago but as you'll know from my Red & Lace OOTD blog post they frequently have lace style tops in stock...so just keep an eye out! This top for example has a very similar feel.
  • Earrings: From eBay! Although I can't remember the seller but you can just type "mint button earrings" in their search bar and you'll get a decent selection too.

 

LOOK 2: TAYLOR SWIFT RED - Wayfarer Shape

This is personally my favourite look and my go-to for the last couple of summers, except for the wayfarers which I only found this year in Claire's. Very similar to Taylor Swift's style, honestly if I could swap closets with anyone it would be her! As you might have guessed from the previous "retro mint look" above I really do like the 50s/60s looks which also heavily influences Taylor's fashion (I'm ignoring the recent platinum blonde grunge phase...we all have fashion experiments we like to forget ever happened!). Unfortunately, with her legs and height none of it would actually fit me...but I'm getting ahead of myself :P I paired the red lips and red wayfarers with a checked patterned shirt and a brown crossbody bag (again with black skinny jeans too...shhhhh) a very summery picnic look if you ask me, hence why I decide to add the cupcake earrings...yum!!!

Items Worn:

  • Sunglasses: From Claire's this year and they still have them online...yay!!!
  • Lipstick: Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 09 Watermelon Slice (I did say picnic theme right?!) now unlike in my Sephora Cream Lip Stain blog post it doesn't appear quite as orange/coral here. Watermelon Slice is a true chameleon; next to a true red it definitely does look like an orange-y red "watermelon" colour but on its own it just looks like a normal/classic red. Either way, its unique colour is a perfect match to the red wayfarers which also pull slightly orange! :)
  • Nails: I was still wearing the Essie Gel Couture Nail Colour in Zip Me Up. But I would normally pair this look with my Maybelline Super Stay Gel Nail Color in 490 Hot Salsa that you can see me wear in "Look 2" of my Coloured Eyeliner post and which I reviewed in my Top 5 Summer Nail Polishes 2015 post
  • Top: From New Look a couple of summers ago but they still repeat the print...so this year you can find the same print in a shirt dress here.
  • Earrings: From Claire's more than 5 years ago, but they have lots of novelty earrings so you should find some no problem!

 

LOOK 3: MY CLASSIC HOLIDAY LOOK - Aviator Shape

This is my classic summer look because it includes aviators but also a strongly patterned top. I think you'll know by now that I'm really not afraid to wear colour...I do own a lime green jumper after all (see "Look 2" here), but in the summer I tend to also embrace patterns! However, the rule with patterns (very similar to the close fitting rule) is that if you're wearing something patterned (or tight) on top then your bottom should be plain (or loose) and vice versa! Dresses of course are the exception as usually patterns (and sometimes fit) will be harmonious throughout the length.

Items Worn:

  • Sunglasses: From C&A last summer but H&M have a great range of coloured aviators so if you don't live in a country with a C&A have a look there.
  • Lipstick: Revlon Matte Balm in 260 Passionate but rubbed off a bit with a tissue to give it a less intense colour and hence give the lips more of a stained effect.
  • Nails: Essie Gel Couture Nail Colour in Zip Me Up.
  • Top: From Apricot last spring still in stock and at a reduced price!
  • Earrings: None. But I do have my standard second and third piercings that came with the piercing process at Claire's . My tragus was pierced in a specialised piercing/tattoo shop in Edinburgh called Studio XIII (super clean and hygienic would highly recommend!...if you're of age that is) but my current tragus earring is also from Claire's.

 

LOOK 4: FANTA ORANGE - Aviator Shape

I've got to be honest, I do look a bit like an extra for a Fanta Orange ad, but I don't hate it! These aviators have a lovely Tequila Sunrise coloured gradient which I adore and I couldn't resist emulating with the lipstick and top.

Items Worn:

  • Sunglasses: From River Island this summer, can't find them online though but they do still have some amazing choices and all at reduced prices!
  • Lipstick: Revlon Matte Balm in 260 Passionate; unlike above I didn't wipe it off, so this is full application intensity.
  • Nails: Essie Gel Couture Nail Colour in Zip Me Up.
  • Top: From New Look last summer but they have something similar here.
  • Earrings: None (same description as above).

 

LOOK 5: FRENCH STRIPES - Aviator Shape

I love a good striped top, always makes me feel very French...although French fashion is a bit more complicated. However, it always manages to look effortlessly chic, I found some great tips on how you too can become a Parisian fashion expert (who said you had to live in Paris to achieve the look?). Anyway, I put a twist on the striped shirt and paired it with electric blue eyeliner that you will have seen in my Coloured Eyeliner post, with blue nails and aviators to match...oui, oui!!!

Items Worn:

  • Sunglasses: From C&A last summer. H&M have a gorgeous alternative here, although the blue is lighter.
  • Eyeliner: KIKO Super Colour Eyeliner in 107 Blue Majorelle.
  • Lipstick: N°7 Precision Lip Pencil in Nude under Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Nude Collection in 42.
  • Nails: Essie in Aruba Blue.
  • Top: From C&A but this style of top is super prevalent so shouldn't be too hard to find one in a similar vein. New Look have one with dark burgundy stripes, very similar although granted it might not go as well with bright blue aviators.
  • Earrings: None (same description as above).

 

LOOK 6: GLAMOROUS HOLLYWOOD - Oval Shape

This look is glamorous beyond glam...yap I have Fergie's Glamorous song stuck in my head which is my own fault really...G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S, yeah G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S...but now you do too #sorrynotsorry :P Anyway I'm wearing a white jumper (sweater) because in Belgium summer doesn't really differentiate itself from winter (I might be slightly exaggerating here) but 28°C is not a common thing that's for sure! So we were very lucky a couple of weeks ago, and hopefully we will be again soon. I need my vitamin D and 2 weeks a year of warm tanning sunshine isn't going to convince anyone I'm not secretly Olaf!

Anyway, these sunglasses do make me look a bit like a fly, but it's so borderline that I like to think I can get away with them (...bzzz) even though oval sunglasses don't usually suit me (the chart is more of a guide than something set in stone, ultimately you'll know if something suits you). But when I'm tanning I always go for an all black pair of oversized sunglasses (maximum darkness in the eye area against the direct sunlight above you) and also ones that actually have been tested for UV protection. This shouldn't mean an extortionate price tag! My go-to pair of dark "sun tanning sunglasses" (too scratched-up now to photograph prettily) are from Accessorize (similar here). The sunglasses with UV protection will usually be indicated with a sticker on the lens or you can always check online in their product description. Never just assume that sunglasses are fully UV protected because not all actually are; especially the light coloured lenses! 

So for this look I paired the sunglasses with a rich red lipstick and surprisingly the mint nail polish I wore originally to go with the "retro mint look" went very well with this whole assemble too (being too lazy to change my polish for every outfit paid off, since it's a combo I would have never thought to try). My pair of trusted black skinny jeans from Marks and Spencer also make a sneaky appearance in one of the photos so I've included them in the list this time. And I finished off with a gorgeous pair of oversized faux pearl earrings...completing the luxurious look (for a lot cheaper too!).

Items Worn:

  • Sunglasses: From Marks & Spencer a couple of years ago but they always have a lovely selection of very glam (some might also call that oval/oversized) sunglasses.
  • Lipstick: Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 03 Strawberry Kissed. It's quite a pinky red but see my Sephora Cream Lip Stain blog post for a more accurate colour representation.
  • Nails: Essie Gel Couture Nail Colour in Zip Me Up.
  • Top/Jumper: Marks & Spencer about a month ago still in stock and they also have it in teal and coral.
  • Trousers: Marks and Spencer limited edition skinny jeans similar here.
  • Earrings: From Accessorize years ago but they always have faux pearl earrings in stock. My favourites are the ones that come in a pack with different sizes as you have more options for your outfits. One day you might want small dainty pearls and the next oversized eye catching ones...with this pack the possibilities are endless.

 

So there you have it my go-to sunglasses of choice and my gorgeous new additions. Hope it's currently sunny where you are so you can enjoy wearing yours too!

P.S. the sun has come out again since I first started writing this post, YAY!!!

What's your favourite sunglasses shape?

Do you have a particular colour you like to wear?

What has been your best find so far?

 

xxxemma

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Best Dressed Wedding Guest

Wedding season is upon us!!! And we all know what that means...no, not wallowing in self-pity over being a #singlepringle (it's pretty awesome okay?!), but pretty dresses galore! Now as per tradition, I would recommend staying clear of white and cream dresses (or gold; wink wink to any shadowhunter fans out there) or whatever other colour your bride might be wearing according to her culture. Personally, I tend to love lace and very feminine dresses (after I muster up the courage to get my pasty legs out that is...what, I embrace my inner Olaf!), but dresses don't have to be your thing, add any type of fascinator and I'm sure people will know you're heading for a wedding, or a horse race...potAto, potatO.

THE PINK DRESS

First up, the pink dress. I found this one for super cheap in a new store discovery for me, Trafic. Although this store contained all kinds of stuff from gardening equipment to kids' toys and books, it also had a small selection of clothing (it's own brand; TQF Collection) with some lovely pieces, for example this dress.

Now, while it might require a sneaky use of spanx and a stick-on bra (thank you M&S!), the backless-ness really makes it (similar here although not quite as pink and if you're of the curvy variety I found this stunning version here among my searches).

My shoes are from M&S (what else?) and although limited edition they bring out a very similar pair every year (here), since after all, nude heels are a classic! As for accessories, my clutch (similar in style here and in colour here) is from Accessorize years ago (we're talking almost a decade now), but I highly recommend checking out their occasion selection, when it comes to clutches, fascinators and jewellery (oh my!), Accessorize is king...or should I say queen?!

As for makeup I kept it pretty simple; I put the Heart eyeshadow from my Stila Soul Palette (blog post here) on my mobile lid and crease, then I added a pop of the KIKO Long Lasting Stick in 42 (a lavender shade) on my upper lashline (concentrating it more on the centre of the eye, I did not create a wing eyeliner with it), finishing off with my usual mascara the Lancôme Hypnôse Precious Cells in black. For cheeks, I added a touch of my Clinique Cheek Pop in Berry Pop and for lips I put on a new addition to my lip product collection, the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in Addiction (blog post coming soon).

For hair, I was going to do something with the pink fascinator I found for my mum last year, but I completely forgot...can you tell I'm not used to styling my hair? Instead, using my curled hair purposely done for this "photoshoot", I just added a braid using the front section of my hair (the part that usually frames the face i.e. the fringe) and pinned it just behind my ear (the hairstyle basis for all three looks)

THE BLUE DRESS

This blue dress was from the M&S's Twiggy Collection last year, I particularly love it because added to its super flattering cut is a spandex style lining which keeps everything in place. Plus, it kept me quite warm, which is great when attending a spring/summer wedding in the UK, as thermometers only rarely reach 25°C (but I'm a lizard and hence perpetually cold, not a dress I would recommend if you run hot or are currently experiencing a heat wave higher than 25°C).

Sadly I haven't spotted anything comparable from M&S this year, but I found a dress resembling it from the brand Chi Chi which is a must when it comes to occasion dresses (and they aren't stupidly short like most dresses you find on the high street). But if you just wanted the colour then this one from Dorothy Perkins should do the trick!

For hair I just added a crystal headband from Accessorize to my previous hairstyle (similar here). My makeup is exactly the same as described above except for the lips which I switched up to a more mauve toned colour to match the blue in the dress, i.e. my trusted Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Marvelous Mauve.

The gorgeous shoes are from New Look, they have a similar pair out this year but without the silver detail on the heel seat (there is such a thing as shoe anatomy, who knew?). My clutch was from Collection by John Lewis but I found an equally nice one here. My blue watch which you might recognise from my watch collection is from M&S, they have an almost identical one out this year too.

THE FLORAL DRESS

For the longest time I was looking for a cream coloured dress with red florals on it (it also had to be long enough that I wasn't showing off my underwear either) and I finally came across the perfect one from New Look last year (similar here or I found a butterfly version here, or a blue version here). The style of this dress is just casual enough that accessorising it differently would make it an everyday dress no problem (I'm thinking flats and a cross-body bag). But the red blotches created by the florals means that you won't appear rude to the bride, even though you're technically wearing cream...shhhh.

Both the bag and the shoes were featured in my Valentine's Day Outfits post. The shoes from M&S (similar here but they are patent leather, so no grass stains, woop woop!) are more of the pinky colour you see in the photos above than the red I photoshopped them to be for the "casual outfit" in that post (to be fair, I did say they were more raspberry toned IRL, although they photograph as really more of a fuchsia). The clutch was from eBay and although not a perfect match to the more fuchsia red of the florals and the shoes, it will do! As I've said before I'm not a big bag collector so this is the only red one I had, but John Lewis have a better match here.

For my final hairstyle I removed the headband, kept the side fringe braid, braided the other side (starting behind my ear this time) braided in the French style (i.e. adding hair as you go) to form a crown, and as I ran out of hair reaching the lower right of my head, I twisted it inwards (like a mini chignon); tips...lots of pinning was required!!! But I did only have five minutes to do this as the sun kept disappearing behind clouds, but messy adds to the hairstyle (I would have just hidden the pins a bit better though).

For lips, I went with a more pinky red, another Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Strawberry Kissed this time. The big cubic zirconia earrings were from Forever 21, but I've seen this style in almost every jewellery shop, so shouldn't be too hard to find!

There you have it, three occasion outfits that will guarantee that you'll be the best dressed guest there!

What do you like to wear as a wedding guest?

Are you more of a fascinator or fancy hat kind of person? I'm very lazy when it comes to hair as I tend to focus more on the makeup.

How many pairs of shoes have you unfortunately ruined by having to walk on wet grass?

 

xxxemma

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Filigree Jewellery from Malta

Last September our family went on a two week holiday to Malta. Unfortunately I didn't have the best of times, which is what happens when you have an already sensitive stomach and you just happen to drink a litre of undrinkable tap water within the first few hours you arrive (it was midnight, after travelling for a whole day including arriving in the middle of a street Carnival, and in my defence the label on the tap was tiny!). But that didn't stop me from trying to get my annual tan...I know this Olaf doesn't melt in the sunshine!

And while I was praising the sun my family went on an exploration of the island and visited the Ta' Qali Crafts Village, which is located in an old and repurposed RAF station near Mdina, the ancient capital of the island. Each hut is now a store selling little trinkets of either glassware, pottery or jewellery (as well as more touristy stuff). They also have a glass factory where you can walk in and watch them making little glass ornaments (swans at the time...very hot, but fascinating!). And my parents brought me back a filigree Maltese Cross pendant from the Exquisite Jewellery Malta shop. If you didn't know, the Cross is very much the symbol of Malta and is found on nearly everything (including the little box in the photo above), but don't just take my word for it, that's what wikipedia's for!

After seeing this gorgeous filigree artwork - which is made by hand from fine silver wire - I was convinced I needed to go to the shop for myself, and that's when I picked up all the other "exquisite" (indeed!) pieces you see.

First up, the flower earrings (they had a matching ring but I much preferred the earrings). They are quite big (I have to take my second piercings out to be able to wear them) but because of the lacework they look "light" and not at all overbearing. Very reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings Elven jewellery (hands up if you wish the elves had opened a jewellery store after you saw those movies as a kid, I know I did!) I feel like a forest elf frolicking in a flowering meadow when I wear these, and I love it!

But when I saw that they made sea creatures my heart melted! I had to pick up one of their dolphins (they had two different designs), my aquatic spirit animal! You can see in this close-up just how much work and detail goes into these little pieces of artwork. Plus, you could watch the owner, Mario, working on new pieces while wandering around the store.

Which is where this next design comes in. I really liked this bracelet, but as you know from my watch collection post, I have the eternal struggle of the small wrist, it just didn't fit! So the owner kindly offered to take out a section and then spontaneously made a pendant out of the spare piece so that I could have a matching set; so kind and very much appreciated. Thank you Mario!

And finally, we have my all time favourite one of the assortment, the seahorse! It may or may not have something to do with the fact that it reminds me of my favourite Belgian chocolate...Guylian Chocolates which are all shaped in the form of sea related things; seahorses, starfish, seashells etc. (which sadly I can't eat anymore because of gluten, but I don't mind my silvery reminder).

Although this particular pendant is not in fact filigree, there is still an appreciation for the intricacies of a lace influenced design, the metal is just not "pulled" as thinly.

So there you have it, all the jewellery I picked up from the delightful Exquisite Jewellery Malta store in Ta' Qali. If you're not as big of a fan of silver as me, they additionally have yellow and also rose gold coloured jewellery for sale.

What is your favourite coloured metal to wear?

Do you have a spirit animal, if so which one?

What do you pick up as souvenirs from your travels? I've been a collector since I was a kid. What can I say, it's the little mermaid in me..."Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?" - sings the rest of the song as I look at my stuff. If it's now stuck in your head too, you're welcome! :P

 

xxxemma

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Valentine's Day Outfits

THE CASUAL OUTFIT

I personally love this outfit for casual day wear on Valentine's Day, granted it may be too obvious for some peeps, what with all the hearts and all that...However since the heart pattern is on a T-shirt (from Sainsbury's brand Tu, similar here although way more expensive), I think it lends a perfect understated nonchalance, a casualness that would have been impossible with the formality of a blouse.

The long brown crossbody (from New Look, yonks ago, similar here) also adds an extra relaxed element to this easy on-the-go kind of look. The black jeans as you know from previous fashion posts are a staple in my closet and what I consider to be my "comfort zone", but you could easily pair this top with a flowy skirt for an even more girly look.

As for me, my girliness is in the shoes! Slightly more raspberry toned IRL (and not such a good match to be honest), the lowness of these M&S heels makes for easy walking (it's 3 inches, I can't do much more than 4 inches without a strap for support, similar here). However if your town is full of cobbled streets (cough...cough Brussels) then my all means put the heels away and try and go for some red flats. You definitely want to add that pop of red on your feet to break up the dullness of the black jeans.

For makeup I wanted to keep it simple, so I did my everyday eye look (Prestige brown eye pencil on the top lash line not in my waterline and Lancôme Precious Cells mascara in black) and added a more natural red stain to my lips (...not that red is very natural) with the Bourjois Lip Velvet in 03 Hot Pepper. I love these lip velvets because they give a smudged-out effect to your lip line (a bit like air brushing) and since it doesn't have such a "hard" edge you lips keep that easy casualness while still wearing a red! Now I know mattes aren't for everyone, that why I've also shown a Revlon Lip Butter in 063 Wild Watermelon, it's a bright muted red with a lovely glossy finish, the "shiny" variations of the casual red lip!

THE FORMAL OUTFIT

I first saw this dress in HelloOctoberxo's Kendall Jenner Modern Muse Le Rouge Tutorial and just knew I had to have it! I had been looking for a formal red dress with a lace décolté to be able to wear at Christmas time or for possible winter weddings, for ages! And this dress from Missguided but bought on Asos (still in stock), was exactly what I had envisioned. The dress has a very similar feel to the brand Chi Chi; knee length, tulle volume and lacing (I love those dresses, very girly and not stupidly short like most dresses I see on the high-street. Not everyone wants to be showing off their knickers, you know!).

Come Christmas time, the family had gotten tickets to go see The Nutcracker on Ice, so with plenty of time to spare I found these gorgeous red heels also from M&S (different from the previous outfit; more orange-y red, rounded toe and 4 inches high and still in stock) in our family November shopping trip to Bluewater.

Now came the clutch: after a thorough look at all my go to shops for clutches; New Look, Dorothy Perkins and Accessorize and seeing zero red clutches, never mind "glittery", I went where I always go...eBay! This little beauty only cost me £2.50 plus shipping. Now sadly I didn't get to wear it, since my big boo got a kidney stone as a Christmas present (that was one Christmas Eve that my family is not likely to forget anytime soon...happily he's fine now).

However come June I've got some new tickets to go see Swan Lake, so this beautiful outfit will get to see the light of day then (or evening should I say). Since you've probably sussed out by now that I'm a #singlepringle and my Valentine's Day night is going to consist of stuffing my face full of chocolate whilst watching all the romantic films, wouldn't have it any other way #Heaven #1dayoftheyearitissociallyacceptable

For makeup; I would up the amp with my eyes and put my eyeliner on my waterline, instant drama! And go for a dramatic red such as this new one from KIKO in 01 Candy Red (post here), now if you need a "kiss-proof" lipstick then I think we can all agree Mac's Ruby Woo won't be budging. Finally, on my nails I'm wearing Essie's Red Nouveau, also a more orange-y based red, but there are endless amounts of good red nail polishes out there, so be my guest!

There you have it, my casual and formal outfit options for Valentine's Day, or any day really.

What is your go to outfit for Valentine's Day? You don't have to be in a relationship to dress for the day!

Are you more the type to treat it as any other day? With "coincidently" more heart shaped chocolate all around you.

Or do you absolutely hate Valentine's Day and everything to do with it? In which case so sorry for this post, things will be back to normal soon, I promise! :P

 

xxxemma

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My Watch Collection

There are two things you need to know about me. Firstly, I have tiny wrists in proportion to the rest of my body (I'm not kidding; my Mum had them checked when I was a baby because she was so worried!) but I can do cartwheels and handstands just fine (the important stuff I know), but push-ups on the other hand...forget it! I totally blame my small wrists for that, not my complete lack of pectoral strength :P

Secondly my watch addiction can be entirely described as hereditary at this point, since both my Dad and brother have sizeable collections themselves and my Mum is slowly catching up. What can I say "watches are a girl's best friend!" no really! Although I do love jewellery (fake/real = pOtato/potAto) a watch is my go-to accessory on a daily basis (I don't understand people with their phone pocket watches...but hey, Apple watches are totally bringing it back to the wrist, we WIN!).

Anyway these two things mean that I have to get most of my straps adjusted and also smaller faces suit me better, not that I've let that stop me from buying watches with big faces...if you've got it, flaunt it! Also my collection is rather sizeable, but each one (of the expensive ones) was either my main Christmas or birthday present, to each their own! Let's get started:

P.S. Like my fake cactuses/cacti (I know I can't even keep those alive!) and fake marble background?!...It's official I've entered the #bbloggers clichéd background world and I'm loving it! :P

THE SILVERS:

Emporio Armani

Growing out of the Swatch Flik Flak phase (leave in the comments below if that was your first watch type too) my first "proper" watch was a silver-coloured one that I remember getting from a Chapelle Outlet store for £30, but for the life of me I can't remember its brand (but it did come with a matching bracelet). However it was what I wore for most of my teenage years (it got quite scratched up in the end) since silver went with everything! This was before the rose gold revolution, which we will get to later. :P

Because of this my Dad got me a "fancy" silver watch to wear on special occasions. Now as I didn't choose this one myself I have no idea how much it cost, but a quick look at the Emporio Armani women watches online would put it at around £150, but my Dad is a bargain hunter so I doubt that's how much was paid. It was most probably from an Outlet store for much less than that (I highly recommend Outlets if you're thinking of getting a fancy watch, they often have some great deals).

The strap of the Emporio Armani watch is the same width as the face, which gives this watch quite a "bulky" look, but it's still thin enough that no one would confuse it for a man's watch, I personally love it (you're going to be hearing a lot of that, it is my watch collection after all).

Marks and Spencer

Next we have the Marks and Spencer one which comes in between £18-£30. I love this one because it really is an embellished bracelet! The strap is very small and fits like a bangle bracelet (not malleable like a standard strap) with a dainty square face, that if you look at closely you will see is a pale lavender colour. I love this one because if watches could ever be categorised as jewellery this would be it! Small, with a silver shine and a hint of colour, love it!

THE BLACKS:

Accessories at New Look (both of them)

The one on the right is the first one that you'll see comes in the "gigantic" face format. Now it does look incredibly bulky on my wrist but because I have bony wrists I think I can get away with it, it's certainly a distinctive look! I especially like this one because even though it has a monochrome design, the face gives it all the "shabang" it needs! Surrounded by a circle of glittery stones - I don't think they're diamonds at £19.99 - the face also has 3 fake sub-dials, which gives it a rather high tech look. I love pairing this with my black dungarees and turtleneck jumpers (I think I'll do an outfit post on them soon, I love them that much).

The horizontal one is from New Look too, but with a slight alteration...the strap. When I went ferreting through my jewellery box (where I keep my cheap watches) in preparation for this post I found this watch, and I remember having cut off the strap either because it was broken or because it was very ugly, can't remember which?! But I kept the watch itself because I love the black and silver minimalism so much. Then I sent my Dad on a mission (he knows his watch shops) for a plain matte black leather strap, and I think we can all agree he delivered! This watch is now perfect and exactly what I envisioned for the face...round of applause for the best Dad in the world! So total price would be £12.99 plus strap price.

THE BLUES:

C&A (the darker one)

I love this one (sensing a theme no?) because of its bright pop of colour (it's brighter IRL). My second "gigantic" faced watch but this one is deceptive as the dial is quite a bit smaller than the face would have you believe. Not my favourite face from my collection if I'm honest, I really just bought this one for its strap...I love matching my nails to it with Maybelline's Forever Strong in 635 Surreal. I bought this one in a C&A in Paris (back in 2012 in my exchange year at the Sorbonne), which had a much larger selection of clothes/accessories/jewellery than the C&As I've been to in Belgium, but it wasn't much more than €10 (I recently had to superglue the strap back together, so you can tell).

Marks and Spencer

This one was bought last minute for a wedding last summer. It matched my blue lace dress and high heels perfectly (you've been warned before about my matching lunacy...the nails matched too...shhhhh). The only issue was my wrist. Way too big, I needed several holes put in, luckily we were in another Outlet Centre the day before the wedding and many jewellery stores later (they didn't have the punch thing) the Fossil store kindly did it for me, free of charge! :)

THE PINKS:

Olivia Burton

I've only discovered Olivia Burton watches rather recently (last two years or so), and they're exactly what was missing from women's watches for years. The last one in my "gigantic" series, the artistic faces is what really drew me in (although I really love her classic dial from the Wonderland Collection too), and there are several more I would really love from her brand but at ballpark £80 each, I've got a few more Christmases and birthdays to go (In the meantime New Look have some decent looking dupes). I picked this "pink" one from her Woodland Collection because I love the face and the bird reminds me of my "Snow White" adventure, everytime I look at it!

Now as my Dad is quite the gardener (green thumb not inherited; cough...cough, fake cacti!) we happen to have an awesome cherry tree (that I helped plant when I was 8) at the front of our house near my bedroom window. Bird food happens to hang from said tree and attracts the exact same birds as the one depicted on this watch (a Great Tit...hey, I didn't come up with the name!). Nothing special about that. But one bird in particular was insisting on building a nest on my window ledge and repeatedly tapping my window every morning around 5am (for a night owl like me this was far from ideal) for food I think (even when the bird feeders were full). So every morning I had to destroy said beginning of nest because my window ledge is angled and I didn't want future eggs to slide off (neighbouring cats also have easy access), plus I have a blind to open and close. Needless to say it was several months of being woken up "à la Cinderella" fashion, before it eventually gave up and I was able to sleep like a true Disney princess again. But those several Snow White moments, when I and the bird looked at each other through the glass whilst it kept tapping will never be forgotten!

Ted Baker

I love this soft baby pink watch from Ted Baker, although I almost didn't get to have it on my birthday, as it was so well hidden by my parents that they had technically lost it! We all had to frantically search the house to find it! Needless to say it was found and the crisis of potentially having lost £150 was averted :P The only thing I would say about this watch is that it has the most unnecessarily difficult clasp I have ever come across. It has two closures: the standard one of a material strap like the Olivia Burton one, and underneath that a metal fold-over one of a metallic strap like the DKNY one (on the right). It took me a whole week to figure out how to adjust it to fit my wrist. Even now I can't remember how I did it!

DKNY

This is my chocolate watch! I first saw it in a DKNY ad in a magazine and although I loved the shape and colour of the strap the magazine photo had the face tinged slightly green, an odd combo but a possibility and far from the ideal (all of the watch being bronze chocolate coloured). So I wanted to see it in person to see if it really did have a green-ish face. So during my last Christmas at Uni in Edinburgh, I looked for it in all the jewellery stores on Princes Street and there in the Fraser Hart window it stood. I couldn't see any green so I asked if I could try it on and it was perfect! It has a pearled face hence the green tint in the ad. Mine is however mostly chocolate bronze with an orange pearlessence (also the tiniest bit of green), I think each watch would be unique in this collection as you don't know what pearlessence pattern/colour you might end up with, I was lucky! The only drawback to this watch is its battery life, I had to change the battery two months after I bought it and again a year after that, the Fossil watch (coming up next) I bought a year before this DKNY one has yet to need a battery change. :/ But if I remember correctly I think I got this watch slightly discounted, still £150, so can't really complain.

THE ROSE GOLDS:

Fossil (both of them)

My first Fossil watch (on the left) is what started my rose gold revolution, back in 2011-2012. While everybody else was buying "gigantic" Michael Kors watches I opted for a slightly smaller more understated rose gold Fossil watch. I bought this in Paris in Les Halles for €150 I think, but this has quickly become my most trusted watch (long battery life) and since it's the only one I own that also tells the date, it was my lucky exam one too! I think we've all been at an exam and just invented dates because stress blanked out the real one, or you're so anxious to start scribbling down answers you're not paying much attention to that detail (days and months are easy to forget, but I think I put 1956 as a year once, and only realised it when it was corrected and handed back to me...oops!).

The one on the right is my second Fossil watch (I was so impressed with the first) and like all the other pink ones I own, it also has a rose gold rim to its face (Can't get enough of rose gold! Not a fan of normal gold...too yellow for me). More of a turquoise, it could still be categorised as a blue but it just didn't look good with my other blues, I love wearing this one (and my lighter coloured ones) in the summer. Speaking of which, that's exactly when I got this one, on a summer holiday in Portugal (in the Forum Algarve to be exact) but you don't have to travel all the way there...Fossil still make them in this style for £95, so go check out their site!

So there you have it, my watch collection! Hope I didn't bore you to death and it may have given you some ideas on future Christmas or birthday presents, and why not a Valentine's day present too if you have a special someone in your life. #singlepringle #foreveralone

What was your first watch?

Any memorable stories attached to a piece of jewellery or a watch? Do share!

Are there any particular brands you absolutely love and think I should check out?

Which one is your favourite?

 

xxxemma

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Red & Lace...OOTD #ThrowBackThursday

All Winter, my wardrobe pretty much solely consists of lace. I'm talking Edwardian Era dedication here!...okay that might be a slight exaggeration :P But as someone that likes to dress very femininely (except for the uniform black trousers, but even here I can compromise) lace is my perfect go-to. I especially like high collars with lace detailing "à la Lily Elsie".

I've recently been able to stock-up on lace tops and blouses thanks to H&M and Dorothy Perkins who have a really great selection! So now I can feel like an extra from Downton Abbey (noooo not from the kitchens) without all the drama (not that that doesn't make it really entertaining) :P

The white lace top is from H&M (similar here), the burgundy blazer is from C&A (similar here) and as you can see from the photos I've also included a "lace" (Baroque) pattern to my standard black trousers, also from C&A (similar here although only in bright red). Shoes and bag are from M&S and John Lewis respectively :)

Now what's the #ThrowBackThursday element to this post I here you ask? Well, when it comes to the November/December Winter months, I like to pair my lace items with reds and darker colours. Hence, as you've probably guessed, I paired this look with the classic Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 107. But when it comes to the January/February Winter months, my lace items gets paired with much lighter colours; whites, creams and nudes and very simple makeup such as the Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick in 42 (part of the her new Nudes Collection).

So if you decide to wear lace, you can always twist it to your fancy; it doesn't always have to take the shape of a dress, as clearly demonstrated here. And you can always play with the "soft" element that lace creates by adding a more structured element, such as the blazer...the colour palette is yours!!!

Remember fashion is meant to be fun, so if you feel like drawing inspiration from a bygone era...the world's your oyster! :)

What is your go-to fashion item in the Winter?

Have you been following Downton Abbey? What did you think of the finale?

Are you a lace fan too? If so, what's your favourite colour to wear it in? What do you pair it with?

What's your go-to makeup in January? Are you a nudes girl after all the December reds, or do you go for something completely different?

 

xxxemma

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1 Jumper/Sweater 3 Ways - Autumn/Fall 2015

The piece: a Tan Jumper from H&M...the season Autumn! (similar here)

My first way of stylling this jumper is by making it the centre piece of the outfit, choosing two additional items to compliment it. In this case a tan handbag (from C&A a shop we still have here in Belgium! similar here) and some tan flower patterned boots (from last year's M&S Collection similar here). The black jeans are a staple in my wardrobe (similar here), as you've probably noticed they're making a reappearance from my last outfit post. All in all, I'm keeping the palette fairly neutral with just two colours: tan and black.

That said, as I've kept the palette neutral, makeup is where I have a bit more fun with this outfit. Either, I continue with the neutral route as seen in the next pictures or I go the bright pop of red route, as you can see in the photos above.

Here, I'm wearing my new addition to my Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets collection: 03 Hot Pepper (as it's an orangey-red it does make your teeth look a bit yellow). I would additionally pair it with the Essie nail polish in Color Binge (swatched in my Essie Autumn Collection post). For eyes, I would have put on a more orangey eyeshadow but as I was doing multiple photos in one day, my eye look here is my everyday one (Prestige brown eyeliner, with my Lancôme Hypnôse Precious Cells mascara). I would have also added the Clinique Cheek pop/blush in 02 Peach Pop as it is the only blusher I own that has an orange undertone to it (all my other ones are pink and mauve under-toned). 

For the next outfit, I'm playing with different materials in the same tanned category.

Both the faux leather boots and jacket (similar here) were purchased from New Look years ago (on separate occasions so I'm not even sure if it was the same year). Now although I love these boots (similar here), the problem with them is that they do not zip up all the way (you can see where the zip finishes in the next photo) so it makes it impossible to stuff jeans down them (even skinny ones) so you can only really wear them with tights or as seen here ¾ length jeans rolled up. As these are the only pair I own, blue had to do, but I feel they add a very casual element to the whole outfit.

But you might disagree, like my dad who kept trying to cut out the jeans from the photos he was shooting of me, you guys are lucky you got a full length shot of this outfit at all ...guess you can't please everybody :P

P.S. This is wear the argument "but it's fashion!" comes out...when really it's just my weird stylistic choice!

For makeup you can see the neutral route I would take with this jumper, since I already have so much of the tan colour going on, I would not add anything extra to my makeup.

So on my lips: the new Nude Collection of Rimmel lipsticks by Kate in 42 (does anyone else wish she had named her lipsticks, I mean does that not seem like the funnest part...no?) over my trusted N°7 Precision Lip Pencil in Nude.

Finally, the last outfit is for those colder and more rainy Autumn days (which let's be real, in Belgium those days are the definition of Autumn).

The coat is also from New Look (similar here), from years ago. But do not disappear, the duffle coat style always makes a reappearance every year during the colder seasons, it's definitely a "classic" coat to own. I love the brown detail trimming and toggles on this dark navy coat, I personally think it goes beautifully with the tan jumper.

The main reason why I bought this coat though, is the hood! At the time, I was at Uni in Edinburgh and if you've ever experienced the Edinburgh winds, then you know that carrying an umbrella is futile (RIP all the broken umbrellas you often see in the street bins from unknowing tourists). The hood was the only way to go, you can easily hold it in place, without looking like an idiot doing a weird wind dance in order to keep your umbrella from turning inside out. But hey, if you feel like dancing and "singing in the rain" then I won't be the one to stop you. :P

For trousers, it the same M&S black skinnies from above (surprise...surprise) and my daily go to black boots (similar here), also from M&S years ago. Mind you, I've had to have them re-heeled 3 times because the "top piece" (the part of the heel that comes in contact with the ground) kept coming off after they naturally wore down from constant use, but all is well now.

For makeup, it's the same neutral combination as above (Rimmel's Kate lipstick in 42 and N°7 lip pencil in Nude).

So there you have it, my 3 ways of styling this tan jumper, hope you enjoyed it! 

 

Do you guys have any favourite jumpers that fit in perfectly with your wardrobe? 

Any go to jumper colour you like to wear in Autumn?

What's your Autumn weather like where you live? Is it still the T-Shirt and jeans kind or do you skip more milder weather and go straight for the earmuffs and fleece lined coats?

 

xxxemma

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Green Envy... OOTD - October 2015

For the longest time, I never wore colour. During my teenage years my go-to "colour"...BLACK! One day, one of my school friends suggested that I try wearing green to bring out my green eyes. So instead of looking for the usual dark clothes, I spotted a moss-green T-Shirt and since then my wardrobe has never been the same again. If you're afraid of colour, I suggest venturing out into tones that match your eyes, you'll never look back...trust me! Now, my wardrobe is a true colour spectrum to behold (I never got rid of my black trousers/jeans style though, as you will probably notice in many outfit posts...soz).

Now, it's only fair to warn you guys I have a thing for shoes but more specifically boots. Some girls collect handbags (I'm more than happy with my black, tan, small tan and aqua ones) others sunglasses... Me, I collect shoes! And nail polish...but you've probably already guessed that by now from my "nails" category. Speaking of which, I would normally be wearing green nail polish to match my outfit (yes I'm that kind of matching lunatic) but as I was swatching the OPI Venice Collection at the time (blog post up soon), I had to give a break to my poor and abused cuticles. 

The green boots I hear you ask, are from this season's Marks & Spencer Collection: scratch that, the whole outfit is Marks & Spencer! I've grown up loving Marks & Spencer, and since they re-opened in Brussels, this year, I'm in Heaven (my mum introduced me to them, so I blame her for my shopaholic addiction here)! Honestly I don't understand why more girls my age (24) don't talk about this beacon of light, more often! Granted, there is the stereotype that it only caters to the older ladies out there, and I might have a habit of dressing older than I am (that's my style, what can I say). But it's a true misconception and I urge you (young folk) to look at their fashion (and makeup range for that matter), have a proper ferret, you won't be disappointed!

The black high-waisted jeans (not that you could tell from the photo) was a limited edition from M&S: they are called the High Waisted Skinny (similar here). It has a beautiful fit for a skinny jean (I'm pear shaped, so my thighs generally don't fit in skinnies without the waist then becoming too big if I size up) but these were perfect! Sod's law is that they only had one in my size (UK 12) in Brussels and since it was a limited edition, they didn't re-stock. 

The green coat (similar here) is gorgeous! However, I had to size down two sizes, I'm usually a UK 12 (top and bottom) but I bought UK 8 in this case, which admittedly made me feel very thin on the day, mind you, I'm of the smaller bust variety, so you might want to still try on (if interested), to be safe. Also, I noticed it doesn't photograph incredibly well. The material has a shine to it that makes it look creased in photos but it really isn't in real life, I promise!

For makeup, green eyeliner! I'm not sure if you can tell from the zoomed in picture of my face, but if you look closely, I'm wearing dark green eyeliner (I did warn you that I was a matching lunatic). It's from a brand that used to be carried by Boots, and from which I adore all their eye pencil/eyeliner products (drugstore prices) called Prestige.

Luckily enough on a Summer family holiday in Portugal, I wondered into a Douglas shop, I had never heard of them before, but they carried makeup, so the true magpie that I am, I went in. Lo and behold, there standing in the spotlight (not really, I'm trying to create a mental picture for you guys...is it working?) a Prestige stand! Needless, to say I stocked up on my daily brown eye pencil; "total intensity eyeliner in 02 Bold Brown" (smooth velvet to apply and lasts all day, it does smudge a bit but I really don't mind that). And I noticed this green little fellow "total intensity Liquid Ink Eyeliner in 04 Stalker" calling out to me. It was lovely and creamy, dried fast (the nightmare of the slow drying liquid eyeliners and the inevitable blinking debacle was not an issue here) and it didn't smudge. It has a 9 month expiry date, so by now mine is a bit old, but I shook it up a bit (it had separated and was quite liquidy) and I was good to go, not as good as an in-date product, but I don't have easy access, so it will do :P

 

So there you have it my October OOTD, is it too matchy matchy for you?

What colour did you gravitate towards do get out of the black monochrome stage of your life (if you had one that is)?

Or what's your favourite colour to wear that brings out your eyes? Would love to know :)

 

xxxemma

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