ASOS Camouflage Skirt

Before I start this post I'd like to share a little anecdote. The week before last I spent a day with Amelia getting a group of outfit photos done. As any blogger will tell you this can be pretty hectic and involves hectic outfit changes in the strangest of places. For this post I had to remove a pair of jeans and replace them with this skirt. It didn't go well - so apologises to everyone in the office behind as you all saw my pants... The trauma of being a blogger! I digress...

outfit details at the base of this post

I really struggle with skirts and don't often wear them. I'm 5 foot 4 (and a third, the third is important) and have the type of shape that can easily look dumpy. Skirts really don't seem to help me. However, I have been stalking various accounts on Pinterest and realised that if you pair a midi skirt with a cropped jumper or shirt of some kind, as you can still see your waist I don't forgo the appearance of the slimmer parts of my shape...

outfit details at the base of this post

I saw this one before Christmas and it took me a while to get it. Camouflage isn't something I'd usually *do* (in fact I don't own anything else that is) and I'd assumed it was more of a trend for the girls who like bodycon dresses and hair gel, no offence if thats you. But I kept on seeing it on various people and I just thought I'd give it a go. I absolutely love it; somehow it being a floaty skirt (nb - it's heavy enough not to blow up when the wind goes past) makes it a lot more girly - or as girly as I'm ever going to get. 

It's sparked a bit of a "skirt renaissance" in my life and I've gone a bit nuts and bought a few. I've been pairing them up with my cropped knits (more below), denim shirts and basic long sleeve tees. My first purchase was this floral one from ASOS which looks fab with blues and greys. For day-to-day wear I really love this cheapy from Monki or this plain black one from ASOS - both are smart enough for work if you pair them with heels, or flats like these are in my photos...

outfit details at the base of this post

The jumper took quite some finding. I'm hardly short of a knit or two (read: two hundred) but I was on the hunt for a cropped, soft, grey knit that didn't break the bank for ages. I finally found one at & Other Stories (for those of you who don't know; this is H&M's cooler, older sister) which has become a bit of a gem this season with all it's super-good-quality tees, tops and jewellery. It comes in two shades of grey (this is the lighter one, here) and a black here. Excellent value and so comfortable and January-y (i.e.: hides all the sins we swore we'd rid by now) mine will most likely have to walk itself to the washing machine to get a break from being on me...

outfit details at the base of this post

As for the shoes, they're a "Happy 2017 to me" present from L.K.Bennett. You guys already know their Floret style is the only heel I can walk in (I have teeny feet, big arches and a big bum that needs carrying around town = disaster in heels) but I'd never tried flats from them. I loved them as soon as I saw them as they reminded me of much more expensive ones from Aquazzura that I've had my eye on. They are unbelievably comfortable and fit my style-goal of looking less scruffy in the week. They come in black here and a sort of camel/cream shade here. Really, firmly recommend... Ooh and the bag is an old favourite from Sophie Hulme. I knew when I got it that it'd last me ages (it's about three years old) and would be a classic - I think the fact the style is still running is testament to that, find it here.

outfit details at the base of this post

Last but not least some info about my hair as I've had a few people asking on my Instagram (find me here). I used to have very over bleached blonde hair, which was tired and arm - yellow. It's taken a long time but I feel like I've finally got to the stage I'm really happy with the colour and cut. When I first went to Sassoon 3 years ago my stylist told me it'd be a "work in progress" which it most definitely was. So, I go there every 3/4 months for my cut and colour which they deliberately put in a way so that it will grow up without the big "staging" line from my roots so I don't need to go as often...

At home I use Living Proof "Restore" shampoo here and conditioner here. It is quite expensive, and I never thought I'd spend so much on stuff like this - but the difference is insane. Try their little travel kit here if you're unsure. On top of that I try to do a hair mask once a week, and for me the best one is Phillip Kingsley's elasticiser here which is the only thing that gives volume to my very fine (therefore usually very flat) hair. I then use whatever hairspray is going cheaply in Boots for the day to day styling...

Outfit details (click links to shop or browse)

Photos by Amelia Allen Photography, taken using the Canon 5D available at John Lewis.


Navy Shearling Jacket

At the weekend we went down to Somerset and when driving to our hotel spotted this field of bamboo (we think it was bamboo and will be happily corrected - this is what happens when two Londoners "do" the country). As I'm trying to be a little more "live now" I insisted on stopping the car to take some photos... So this is as real as it gets as this outfit really was what I was wearing on Sunday...

I was intending on holding back posting about this jacket for a while as it's going to be used in a bigger project next month. But I've worn it a great deal and lots of you have asked where it was from. So, with no further ado - it's from Jigsaw, here. I've never really got the whole shearling thing before; this is the first time I've ever had anything like it. I spotted it out when I did a store visit last week and knew we'd live happily ever after. I kind of thought shearling was just for super smart, super posh people. Not for people like me who dresses in whatever first falls off the wardrobe rail, and is a constant fight between her love of colourful foods and keeping white t shirts, white.

It turns out this is really very handy; I've worn it like I am here with jeans and trainers. Given it's such a dark colour I've been staggered at the number of people who have asked where it is from - clearly it's the thing to wear if you want to be noticed... As that isn't really a decision making point for me, let me list other perks = It's bl**dy warm, like seriously warm. As in you really notice that the bits of your body not covered in it are cold (I'm in the market for a onesie version if anyone knows of one). It's a neutral colour that won't go out of fashion. It's so soft; dogs really like cuddling in it...

It's most definitely an investment, even though it is in the sale here. I can't recommend it enough so if you're in the market for a treat for yourself, go for it. As ever, I've done a bit of a run around to find good alternatives. Before I launch into the high street, a few designer bargains. This J Crew one is half price in the sale and twice the size - that's like x4 the bargain then, right? Secondly this DVF one is also half price... Cheaper options include this Warehouse one - may not be navy but cream is also a staple and having seen it in the flesh I can confirm it's insanely warm. Lastly if you're looking to just test out the look, this one is £22.

Other bits in the outfit basically sum up my Sunday style, if I have one. Essentially it's all about being comfy but looking decent enough to leave the house. I find quality knits are key and the one in these shots is new from Reiss, here. You can't really see in these photos, annoyingly, but this knit has really lovely two-tone neck and sleeves. It comes in black too (I've nabbed it already) which looks super slick for work, here. It's a super flattering cut - somehow even though it's oversize it still fits if that makes sense. You'll be seeing quite a lot of it in the next few posts...

Also want to give a little shout out to the jeans, here. They're also from Jigsaw. I'd never have thought to go to them for denim but they're cuts are ace. They're made in Japan (for anyone who doesn't know, when it comes to denim you're looking for them to be made in Japan or Italy - it shows quality) and are from a very high count denim. This means that you can wash them heavily, wear them heavily etc and the fit won't loosen etc. These are their Hampton style - I also have the Richmond which is their skinnier style. For the price they really are an insane bargain.... 

Outfit details (click the links to go through to shop)

Photos taken using the Olympus PL7 at John Lewis here.


What Is A Shacket?

It's a reasonable question, no? I for one was pretty confused. Having only just come around to the word "jeggings" (However, I refuse to spend time with anyone who owns a pair - sorry not sorry) the idea of a "shacked" seemed pretty ridiculous. At first I thought it was a hipster term for sh*t jacket. But no...

full outfit details at the base of this post

Turns out shackets are pretty damn useful. It's a thicker fabric than a shirt, but lighter than a jacket.  This one from And Other Stories (part of the H&M group for those who haven't shopped their before - think of it in the same way that Massimo Dutti is for the Zara group) is rapidly proving it's worth. 

I'm wearing with all my other usual basics - and it also looks really cool with floral maxi dresses (on that subject this dress from Topshop's new season is firmly on the wish list...) and trainers... It'll be incredibly handy when it gets a bit warmer, but also looks good layered under a coat for winter. I've put a few of my favourite finds above - but I think my one is the leader of the pack...

full outfit details at the base of this post

On the subject of trainers I've finally succumbed to the blogger craze and bought the Isabel Marant Barts. First it was the Stan Smiths (which I still regret not buying) and then these took over. Saying that I categorically refuse to spend £265 on trainers unless they have done super power like get rid of cellulite or can make me fly... As usual I spent a week stalking Vestiaire Collective. By stalking I mean obsessively setting alerts, not trusting the alerts so checking myself, and bartering like a MOFO. Eventually I swagged a pair for £96. I've been keeping an eye open and if any of you are a size 37 then these are still available in white, and these in a size 7 in black. I hate myself for being such a fashion victim, but hey... See all their offering here.

full outfit details at the base of this post

The top is new too, also from And Other Stories. You can't see in these pictures (and forgive me but it was way too cold to take my coat off) but it has a lovely scooped back, have a look here. I'm finding this style of top really useful at the moment. Whilst I'm still working on my Victoria Secret-like body for Spring which has been a lifetime project alongside my Haagan Dazs appreciation, tops with an open back are incredibly flattering. I mean, who can have a chubby back, really?

I don't mean the side bits, most people are a bit fluffy around the edges. I mean the actual centre of someone's back is never fat. So we should show them off. I'm currently eyeing up this plain white one and this black silky one is super flattering. I'd wear them exactly as the models do; with jeans and either trainers or low heels. I've put a few other finds above, none of them are very expensive so give it a go... Ooh and as a side note I can wear a normal bra with mine as the cut out stops just about the bra strap.

full outfit details at the base of this post

Other key bits to this outfit - which really is my default weekend look - are a good pair of slim fit jeans. Mine here are from Paige, but I've recently discovered Jigsaw's denim offering and it's very good - check it out here. Both choices are butter soft; smart enough for a shirt and jeans but hard wearing enough for every day use. I treat my jeans badly (tumble drying most weeks) and they come out fine - I've had this pair for about 2 years.

Last but not least my bag. This was a Christmas present from the lovely team at Liz Matthews who look after Hill and Friends. Emma Hill (not the blogger) who is the genius who made Mulberry cool moved on and created her own brand, and this is the result. The bags are meant to be fun yet purposeful; my one (named the Happy Satchel) is the perfect example. It fits my life in, structured enough not to lose shape and always get noticed. It's love.

Outfit details (click link to shop)

Photos by Amelia Allen Photography, taken using the Canon 5D available at John Lewis.


Our Little Bedroom

This post has been a long, long time coming. I can't believe we've been in our new home for over 6 months now, it still doesn't feel like we've got it together. Neither of us had Hampstead on the original list of locations to live, truth be told we'd assumed we couldn't afford it. But, on one rainy day I took a phone call from an estate agent who told us about this place. We saw it that day, fell in love with it's quirky-ness and two weeks later we were in.

The flat is in an old hospital smack in the middle of Hampstead Village. The compromise was space. Our bedroom is teeny and therefore when furnishing it we had to be super clever with what we chose. Like most people in our position, neither of us had anything decent to bring furniture wise so it meant starting from scratch - which was both brilliant and slightly scary financially. 

We spent ages trolling through shops and sites for the right furniture, we knew we didn't want Ikea but also couldn't afford the luxurious "bateau lit" I'd spotted in a boutique in Paris (totally unrealistic, but thats what spending so much time on Pinterest does to you). It wasn't until we looked at Habitat that we really felt a brand "got" us. Their stuff seemed to combine the quality and the requirements we needed from furniture = we can't have it fall apart after a year, we have a small space and we need  places to store things. So, here is what we got... (small spaces, it turns out, are a nightmare to photograph - so do check out my Instagram Stories for a live tour here).

We realised that we may as well go with a king size bed as the size difference was only going to make for an awkward space against the back wall (when we'd picked the shelves, see below). We wanted a bed frame that wasn't going to break the bank but also wouldn't go out of trend. So we chose the Tatsuma, here. We chose it in the oak colour as it matches the wardrobe rail I'd already picked out here which really makes no sense to have as it takes up way too much space on the landing, but it was just something I've wanted since seeing Lindsey have the same.

As an aside, one thing I am absolutely thrilled with is our mattress. We did a lot of research and had heard about the various companies that give you an decent mattress and you pay for it over time. I was a bit hesitant (I'm always cynical of new concepts) but we found one on Eve that looked really good, here. In truth we ended up being gifted ours but hand on heart with the difference it has made to our sleep and comfort I would happily pay ten times the amount for it. I look forward to coming home to it after a holiday, no matter how plush the hotel - because our mattress is better. I cannot recommend these guys enough (the mattress arrived in a day too, which should not go unnoticed given the common wait times for home stuff) - check them out here.

We knew we needed units next to the bed as we both have quite a lot of stuff, but taking advice from an editorial Lucy did we went against side tables as you can't store things above or below them. We didn't want to overwhelm the room with tonnes of furniture either. These "ladder shelves" are perfect. They're white so they don't stick out and make the room look cluttered, but they do make the most of the space. Find them here, for £75.

For the final touches we bought a white-edged mirror to both bring some light and create the illusion of space to put above the bed, here and some copper touch sensitive lights (saves faffing around for switches) here. I also decided it was time to invest in some decent linen so upgraded my sheets to Elizabeth Scarlett, here and bought some huge faux fur cushions from The White Company sale here to give the bed some extra "luxe." As a final treat we bought a little tray so I can work in bed without ruining the fan on my laptop (apparently 50% of laptops die because the fan at the base of them is blocked when people use them in bed) here

Hope you enjoyed that little insight into our home, the next project is deciding what to do with the double height wall in the living room. Shelves of pictures?! Help!

This post was in association with Habitat and Eve Mattresses. All images, product selections and text my own.


My Forever Coat, And Other Faves

The last few posts have been focussed on me buying new things, so I thought I'd do something about the staple pieces I live in - rather than anything new (ok, there is one teeny new thing but I wasn't expecting to shoot when I took these pictures...). Having had an enormous clear out recently, it's really made me see what pieces I couldn't do without - and some of them I haven't even blogged about!

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

To name one of them, this silk shirt has been glued to me ever since it arrived. It's from Jigsaw, a brand I rediscovered last year after mistaking it as being for older women (living in an era I wasn't ready to embrace). It's so easy to wear; I pair it with jeans tucked in or out. It was perfect over Christmas as it feels like you're wearing your pyjamas when you actually look like you've made an effort... I love the cut of the lapels, they're super flattering and make the shirt much more modern. Lucky for you it's now in the sale, here.

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

The coat is also Jigsaw, and has been on my blog and Instagram a lot. It's just so damn good; much like the shirt I can wear it all the time be it for work or play. It's also incredibly warm (although you do need a scarf as the cut obviously leaves your chest uncovered) being made from British wool - which somehow makes it even more of a worthy purchase... It's in the sale and Jigsaw themselves have sold out (unsurprisingly) but John Lewis have small sizes here.

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

My jeans are from Paige, and having shopped around over the years I always seem to come back to these guys. Before the blog I would never, ever have considered investing in denim but having seen the difference in the way they last, feel and wear I'm 110% sold. It's always worth having a look in the sales for these because department stores don't seem to be able to shift the quantities they bought. Selfridges in particular still have a really good selection, here

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

My boots are from L.K.Bennett and I wear them with everything. They're wide enough on the ankle to look good with skirts, but close enough to fit under jeans. More to the point I can wear them all day, which never happens to me with heels as I've got teeny feet meaning heels stretch my arches and hurt really quickly. They haven't gone into sale, and neither should they - find them here in a few colour options (but I find the "grey smog" the most useful).

outfit credit and links at the base of this post

Last up, my steal of 2017 (we're two weeks in, but sod it). I'd been after a Gucci belt for ages but struggle with the idea of paying £200+ for a belt. So, I set about stalking them for a month on Vestiaire Collective until this one came into my life. It was listed for £120, but I haggled hard (using the Make Me An Offer function) and got it for just over £70... I'm absolutely delighted with it - it will be worn a lot. Here are Vestiaire's current offering, and do bother to sign up and set up an alert so you get an email or text the minute one lands on the site - although if any of you beat me to the tan coloured one (here) I'll kill you...

Outfit credits (click link to shop)
shirt = as worn, Jigsaw (in the sale)

Photos taken using the Olympus PL7 at John Lewis here.


The Arctic Lodge

I've been meaning to write this blog post for sometime, but life got in the way. At the very beginning of December I tagged along on one of Gus' work trips (he runs a company called HedgeBrunch) to visit The Arctic Lodge. A newly renovated chalet in Val D''Isere, this home from home is a destination with a difference. Not only is the house itself absolutely incredible, but the whole vibe is a refreshing change to the "candle at both ends" skiing experience we all know and love regret once we arrive home and are back at our desks...

Having flown in from Geneva (I flew there from another trip in Brussels and wasn't asked for my passport once, slightly worrying...) we got a transfer to Val D'sere. I'd been there before, but many moons ago and never really embraced the whole "ski life" thing. I can't ski very well at all, we never skiied as kids (as parents are more of a "get me to the beach" people) which instantly puts you at a disadvantage. I hadn't been on the slopes for five years and was more worried than excited...

all kit (both of us) Ortovox here

We arrived at the chalet, and just wow. It's everything a chalet should be - and some more. With everything from an outdoor hot tub to snuggly sofas and beds in typical "hygge" style. We were there for four days and I didn't even get to the swimming pool in the basement, as you just wanted to hang out with the guys, chill by the fire or run yourself a bath overlooking the mountains.

Remembering how to ski after 5 years was easier than I thought, but thats most likely huge testament to TDC Ski who spent a morning with all the four year old French kids on the nursery slopes with me the following day. Gus on the other hand was straight up the mountains and down again, he's frustratingly good... We met for lunch at the Arctic Cafe which (just like our chalet) made us a healthy lunch before an afternoon of doing the same all over again...

Eventually we decided we'd head back to our chalet (which you can ski to) and arrived to find the fire roaring and gluten free, dairy free pancakes with vegan chocolate spread waiting for us. I nearly died and went to heaven... Once we'd got the ski boots off (my least favourite part of the experience; clunking around in boots that make you walk funnily and bruise your shins) I stuck into a pile of them, followed by some excellent (gf, df) chocolate cake... Heck, those blue slopes don't ski themselves... I earned it.

A hot bath and a nap later, we were ready for some apres ski. I think the fact not a single photo was blog worthy tells you how fun it was... After eating at La Baraque (would recommend) where the gin and tonics were the size of fish bowls, the following morning was a challenge. How on earth the boys managed to get themselves out of bed to get on the ski lift I will never know. I slept in and came out only for the promise of Orangina and sunshine, which was honoured. Lots of you asked from my Instagram where this jumper was from, it's a brand called Perfect Moment here. Really good value for the quality... 

sweater, Perfect Moment at Net A Porter / sunglasses, Kate Spade in the sale

In the afternoon I gave a go at skiing again, I'm not quite at the stage where I'm carefree and able to relax - but not far off. More than anything it's the embarrassment of not being able to do something, particularly when there are little whizz kids around without a care in the world practically cartwheeling down the mountain face... Or at least thats what it felt like. Hey, at least I looked good (classic case of all the gear, no idea). I did a a major haul from Net A Porter's ski offering here, followed by an Ortovox order for Gus (check out the men's stuff here it's lush).

After another long day we took a trip to the lodge's secretly located sister venue, the Refuge. Piers, the founder, and his team invited us there for dinner and once we'd wrapped up warm he took us on a walk to get a proper view of the surroundings. When you have nothing but snow and rock around you, you really feel at ease. I hadn't felt this far from home for a long time, and I liked it...

So, if you're after a ski trip with a bit of luxury and no pressure to eat constant chips and cheese I'd really recommend The Arctic Lodge. I was extremely nervous for two reasons: 1, not a great skier (I'm now very much ok, as in I can get down a mountain alive without using a ski lift) and 2, because I didn't want to eat like a student as I'm trying hard to eat well. Neither of things were an issue, and I left feeling refreshed and wonderful.

Thank you to the wonderful team at The Arctic Lodge, The Lifestyle Agency, Perfect Moment and Ortovox


My New Sweater

Followers of my Instagram (here) will know all about this new purchase. It was bought during a prosecco-fueled panic shop on Christmas Eve in Bath. We were supposed to pop in and buy a book for Gus' Dad, but we accidentally had some bubbles and an hour later I found myself in Whistles oogling over all the new-ins...

outfit details at the base of this post

Whistles fell off my radar last year as it got a bit of a reputation for being incredibly overpriced and went into a pattern of producing "you can't sit with us" East London hipster type clothes. In other words; not my kind of thing. But the window of the Bath store caught my eye; this sweater is so colourful and bright it has picked me up on an otherwise dull and dreary day. Today is Monday and it's tube strike day, meaning my usual 20 minute commute to Shoreditch took me well over two hours. If I hadn't spent so long waiting for the damn thing, I'd have considered throwing myself under the train - really was a hellish journey. I say this before attempting the one home, wish me luck...

outfit details at the base of this post

I love that it's essentially a navy sweater so goes with everything, but the embroidered detail makes it a little bit special and gives it a little va-va-voom... I hope that makes sense. I've worn it to death since I got it, even paired it with a white collared shirt, black skinnies and heels for date night (which looked really good, even if we're taught that navy and black is a cardinal sin). This "look" is what I like to call "waking up earlier than your boyfriend so grabbing the first things you find so as not to wake him up..." which is something I go for at least twice a week...

outfit details at the base of this post

Overall Whistles seems to have changed it's tune and I really recommend taking a look at their new collection here. On top of that their sale is incredible; this lace top and this breton tee are both £35 - and I've included quite of a lot of their stuff in my discount/sale edit on the blog here. Other things of note in this post have to be the shoes (from L.K.Bennett's athleisure collection, here) and my jeans which were a complete bargain from Levis at Bicester Village (£25!). 

Whatever you're doing today I hope you get home in a decent time (particularly aimed at Londoners) and are able to put your feet up. Hell it's needed, the first five-dayer on 2017 already feels like the longest week of all time...

Outfit details (click link for details)
jeans = as worn, Levi / similar for less here (£17.50 in the sale)

Photos taken using the Olympus PL7 at John Lewis here.


Things To Buy To Get You Through January

As mentioned in my last post, I'm trying not to be an enormous cliche this month. I can't tell you about my resolutions because after a half-as*ed attempt to write some I really don't have any (other than to spend more time with less people, as 2016 showed me I'd got that a little bit wrong - ooh and also "have pride in your tribe" which is an awesome, awesome motto). Having looked at lots of blogs this month I really can't compete with their wonderfulness, so instead I'm going down the route of things that will help you cope rather than get you inspired...

So, above are some things getting me through the month. Firstly, colour is key. At home and on my face. For the former my cushions from Bluebell Grey and Elizabeth Scarlett look lovely on my otherwise neutral sofa (which as lots of you on Instagram ask me, if from Made here). I've spent a huge amount of time curled up on it reading. Chosen reads are:

1. The Glitter Plan - The business story behind Juicy Couture. Someone recommended this to me and I initially rolled my eyes; the brand isn't for me. But there are some really good pointers and it's written in a very lighthearted, honest and funny way. Enjoyable and inspirational without getting too "business"...
2. Gut - I was bought this for Christmas and was sceptical; not the most alluring title is it? However, this book has been a revelation. From explaining what an appendix is for, to helping me understand why very specific foods make me feel queasy - it's on it. A must read (and you'll never want to eat sugar again) ...
3. Red Herring and White Elephants - An oldie but a goodie, I found this in the cupboard the other day. A really good stop-and-start book listing where all our expressions come from (hence the title). You'll be an annoying know-it-all when you finish, but you'll be excellent at a dinner party with weird and wonderful facts...
4. Carpe Diem notepad - not exactly a read, but I'm giving a go at writing things down and found this lovely notepad in White Stuff who have started doing home stuffs. Recommend a look, here.

Candles are key for January and I've become obsessed with Diptyque's Tubereuse candle here ever since I acquired it - it's fast running out. It really does prove that paying a little more for a good candle is worth it; when we burn it we can smell it down the hall from our flat the minute we walk up the stairs! I've got my eye on the room spray too which is slightly cheaper, here. Secondly the Origins Feel Good candle here was a gift from the Estee Lauder team. It's got pine and orange in it and is super invigorating. When I've felt a bit peaky it's really given me a lift, so I definitely recommend it!

Annnnnd for beauty, this month is all about fast, quick, albeit lazy stuff that makes you look fab. Quickly. I still swear by my Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturiser as it transforms my skin and general appearance in seconds. Yes it's expensive but if you are going to invest in anything surely its your face? Find it here. Combine that with Tom Ford's amazing eyebrow mascara and you're already prepped to leave the house, trust me. Find it here (and don't just find it, but it, this really is that good). I'm trying to remember to wear lipstick and this Lancome Caprice red is currently the favourite. Its bright, it's fun and it makes Mondays more interesting.

Other products I've mentioned in my Instagram's recently include; Clarins' clear lip gloss here which stays on all day - works to heal cracked lips and make them look banging... Benefit's ultimate lazy girl eye shadow palette here. You use the sponge applicator to swipe across the 3 colour options and do the same on your lids. Bam - smoky eyes done in seconds. And YSL's gorgeous illuminating cream to create the illusion you have been outside seen the sun recently, here.

Ooh and you should try and smell nice because it makes you feel good. Simples. Gus bought me the Chloe perfume for Christmas and it's so happy, delicate and pretty that I feel gorgeous when I'm wearing it - I'd never have picked it out as it looks very, very girly. Find it here. For him, I was kindly sent a new scent from Jo Malone's selection called Myrrh and Tonka. It smells insane. Insane. I am like a cat on heat when I smell it and friends on Twitter have said the same. So buy it for your "him" now, here.

Next; we can't ignore the fact that January is a great time to go shopping. As 2016 was one of the most up and down global economic climates, we consumers didn't buy as much as the retailers thought. This means there are huge surpluses of stock that need shifting. In real terms that means big discounts for us, and more things going into sale than usual. This is good. As I've been at home for the last few days I've cleared out four bin bags of clothes and taken them to Cancer Research on Hampstead High Street - and also listed as much as stuff as eBay would let me. I'm going to use these new found funds (through the £100s I make on the listings...) to buy a few things for the new year - because January is dull AF and we all need a little lift, no?

click link to shop: indigo jeans, Topshop (so cheap) / cashmere scarf, Topshop / sequin top, Topshop /leopard print pumps, Net A Porter (Saint Laurent and so discounted) / black buttoned top, Net A Porter /cream peasant top, Zara / cashmere cream jumper, Topshop / taupe culottes, Reiss / cream v neck knit, Whistles / wave tassle skirt, Whistles / one shoulder top, Whistles / cold shoulder black top, Whistles / 

I found a lot, scouring my favourite places; Zara, Net A Porter, Topshop, Reiss and Whistles. I can't go through everything but here is a little summary. First up, denim. Sadly I missed the phenomenon that is the Selfridges Denim sale (seriously  this is the one sale you cannot miss - there are a few odds and sods (look out for Paige, AG and Levis) still available here. The White Company still have some awesome ones left too, hereThis Zara top is complete bargain at £17.99, especially when you compare to the Etoile Isabel Marant version here which (in the sale) is still £120. Speaking of designer stuff, never rule out Net A Porter during sale time. Their discounts are big, especially this year. These Isabel Marant shoes are £114, their J Crew stuff starts at £24, and staples like this MiH breton tee and this Solid and Stripe crop top are things I've been after for ages (I always stock up a wish-list just before the sales and then shop from there, much easier). One more thing, if you're after a solid knit look no further than this Tibi knit, reduced from £400 to £120.

Whistles is great for solid staples with a bit of something extra. For example this one shoulder dress (reduced from £220 to £50) is a great failsafe, as is this one shoulder top (really good solid staple, with a bit of something extra).  Reiss sales are always really good because everything goes into them. I can't believe this dress has gone in as it was a bestseller, and only £95! Furthermore their skirts and work-type selection is fantastic - this skirt for £55, these culottes and this roll neck for £25 really does show quite how strong the discounts are.

other solid finds: black boyfriend jeans, Topshop / multicolour knit, Topshop /  ruffle top, Topshop / metallic black jacket, Topshop /  red and white peasant top, Net A Porter / grey stripe tee shirt, Net A Porter / grey sweater, Net A Porter / ribbed knit, Net A Porter /  /  cream crochet top, Net A Porter  

Lastly, I haven't included them in the collages but don't forget about bikinis in the winter sales as they really drop in price. She Made Me was the brand of 2016 and this mint green bikini, this cream and this red two piece is amazing... Over and out.
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