Sunday, April 13, 2014

Style Challenge | M&S Leading Ladies Campaign

m&s leading ladies, m&s spring collection, m&s summer collection
fashion blog uk, fashion bloggers uk
miniature poodle puppy

Jumper* M&S / Jeggings* M&S / Necklace Debenhams / Bag* NICA / Sunglasses RayBans / Shoes* Daniel Footwear

M&S recently launched their Leading Ladies campaign to promote their latest collection for Spring/Summer. Featuring Annie Lennox, Emma Thompson, Alek Wek, Baroness Lawrence, Rachel Khoo, Lulu Kennedy, Roma Agrawal, Rita Ora and photographed by Annie Lebovitz, the newest campaign celebrates some of Britain's leading ladies and representing the work that they do within their industry. Personally, I am thrilled to see Emma Thompson as part of this because I think she's absolutely brilliant. Out of this group, Emma Thompson is my favourite! However, as much as I admire her, and she is beautiful (and wonderfully bonkers), I wouldn't want to dress like her. Not at this stage of my life, at least. I'm swaying more towards Rachel Khoo's style, as she is younger and has a petite frame. 

I actually spotted some nice things from M&S before Mother's Day, as I popped in to get some food to cook a Sunday dinner! I had a little look around and was immediately (naturally!) draw to the florals, the pleats and a few pastel coloured coats hanging on the railings near the food hall. I tend to admire these pieces from afar, because I already know that the dresses will be too big, the trousers too long and the coats will drown me. This floral pleated midi dress caught my attention and if it was several inches shorter, I'd grab it and make a beeline for the checkout! 

M&S set me a style challenge and I cautiously stepped out of my comfort zone as I agreed to this. I like the style of some of their designs, it's just that I often have troubles with the sizing. I had a browse online and spotted the white jumper from the Pretty Pastels collection, one of the four key trend from the Leading Ladies range shot by Annie Lebovitz. The jumper is a cropped fit (but "cropped" never means CROPPED in M&S terms) and I've got a couple of knitwear from Per Una, so I had no worries there, I knew the jumper would be the perfect length on me. I also decided on a pair of jeggings (my very first pair!) and I'm actually really excited at how comfortable they are! They are available in petite, with their smallest size starting from a 6 and you can choose between short or regular leg. I've gone for the short leg, which gives a trendy "ankle grazer" look (or "half mast" if you're old fashioned!) but it looks alright with a pair of black pointed court shoes, I reckon! The bag from NICA makes the outfit complete, giving it a casual and laid-back vibe. I'm happy with the outcome of this challenge, because I came away thinking that what I would usually considered "mumsy" can actually be transformed to a look that I feel comfortable in. If it hasn't been so windy lately, I'd have my hair down and pop my fedora hat on with this outfit! Can't cope with this windy-ness!!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Primark Spring/Summer 2014 • Monochrome

primark spring summer 2014

1. Gingham Top £6 / 2. Bag £8 / 3. Midi Skirt £12 / 4. Rucksack £8 / 5. Lace Top £12 / 6. Sunglasses £2 / 7. Gingham Skirt £6 / 8. Gladiator Sandals £14 / 9. Heeled Shoes £14 / 10. Skater Skirt £8 / 11. Clutch Bag £4

Here are my current top picks from Primark this Spring/Summer season. Compared to my previous Spring/Summer 14 Primark blogpost which was a pastel themed feature, this one is noticeably less colourful! As much as I can't wait to wear clothes that are more colourful (and my wardrobe is in desperate need to a ~pop of colour~) this dull Spring makes me want to stay in dark colours for a tad bit longer. I'm not getting on with this "transitional" phase of the season, I'm currently wrapped up in a blanket because it's so chilly (Are you cold too, or is it just me?!) but fingers crossed, the weather looks to improve next week. However, I'm considering it a safe bet to stay in good old black and white for now! Whilst some people think black and white is boring, most will agree that it's a classic look that can be updated by adding prints, textures and accessories. Usually, I don't mind spending a bit of money on black and white items of clothing, but it's just as well that Primark have a huge monochrome range! 

I enjoy putting these posts together as opposed to blogging about my hauls (which are very rare anyway). It makes it easier to process what's in store and pick up what I want to buy from what I've seen online. What is catching your eye from Primark at the moment? Anything I should keep my eyes peeled for? 

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Current Favourite • Top 5 MAC Lipsticks

top 5 mac lipsticks, best lipstick shades for asian/chinese skin tone

My Favourite MAC Lipsticks

(first pic, from left to right) Crosswires, Lustering, Girl About Town, Plumful, Speak Louder

I never used to bother with lipstick, but now I wear lipstick every time I venture out of the house! My favourite lipsticks are from MAC and here are my most-worn shades which best suits my yellow asian skin tone! It makes me sad to see a couple of them looking flat and stumpy and it bugs me that I'm photography used make up (I usually like to take photos before I use them) and I know it grosses some people out, so I'm really sorry about them looking a bit grubby. Also, instead of ending up with an image-heavy blog post, I've added a link to an outfit post where I'm wearing the lipstick shade. Hopefully, it is also handy to see the lip colour in an overall outfit look. 

Crosswires (Cremesheen formula): I went to the MAC Counter to try Vegas Volt, which I had read countless amount of reviews for. I had been in several times to swatch it and I was about to purchase until a last minute doubt came in to my head. I didn't feel comfortable in it, it didn't look right on me. After a chat with the lady behind the MAC counter, I decided that Vegas Volt was too bright and so she recommended an alternative. This happened to be Crosswires, which is described as a coral pink but it actually comes out a little orange on me as shown here.

Lustering (Lustre formula): This is looking rather stubby, isn't it! This is for two reasons. Firstly, it's because it's the one I used the most. Secondly, it gets worn down more easily because the formula is very sheer and you need to apply this more heavy handed than the others. It's such a wearable shade of pink, especially for the day time when you don't want your lips to be too vibrant. It adds a dash of colour but this one might not be for you if you like strong pigment. It's really moisturising and it looks really natural on me.

Girl About Town (Amplified formula): This is a vibrant hot pink with a blue undertone and I like to put this one on when I wear plain outfits like this, or nights out. It makes a fairly simply outfit look and feel more glam! It's a lot brighter than it's showing up on photographs - but as you can tell, it's the brightest one from the handswatch (photo above). Amplified formulas are highly pigmented, packs a punch (of colour!) and are long lasting. This one is creamy and has a slight glossy finish. It's a very pretty lipstick!

Plumful (Lustre formula): This was a Christmas present from my sister and I did a full review here. It's the darkest shade out of the five, and it is a nice shade for Autumn/Winter. It's another one from the lustre finish, so it won't be long until this one ends up in a flat and stumpy state!

Speak Louder (creamsheen): This one is a more intense version of Lustering and I did a full review on this when I first bought it, so will keep this one short and sweet. Speak Louder and Lustering are my all time favourite lipsticks, I love fuchsia pinks and it complements my skin tone and dark hair really well. I'd go as far as to say that Speak Louder is the perfect shade for asian skin tone! Cremesheen formulas provides a creamy medium coverage which is buildable, and it's moisturising too. It's got a sheen to it without it being glossy or sticky.

I'm going to treat myself to a new MAC lipstick soon, but which shade shall I go for next? What's your favourite MAC lipstick?

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Instagram Monthly Round Up

Follow me on Instagram! Username @tempsec

Here's a short snapshot of a few photos from my Instagram in March. I started doing these monthly round-ups this year and totally forgot about March. I was going to miss it out but it didn't feel right, so here I am with a brief round up! (Note to myself: be more organised for April!) I've got a list of all the things I want to blog about this month, and hopefully there will be more outfit posts since the weather is (supposed) to be looking up. Who knows! Maybe this drizzle, and fog will finally clear up and start to act like SPRING. That would be nice (I'm not keeping my hopes up...) Since I've decided to do all my outfit photos outside, there hasn't been as many outfit posts on this blog like there used to be. Let me know if you'd like to see more style posts, or whether you prefer this current balance of personal style and beauty reviews! x

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pamper Time with Ottoman Scent! Review & Giveaway

Candle* £14.50
Bath Cupcake* £4.45

I have myself a lovely new candle and a gorgeous bath cupcake for the weekend! I love pamper time after work, especially as I've been feeling unwell this week, I try to do things that relaxes me and my "me time" involves catching up with TV shows on the iPad in a bubble bath with several candles around and a nice cup of tea. As you all probably know by now, I LOVE candles and bath products, I can't get enough of them lately! It's the first thing I think of when I want to feel more calm and de-stress. I never used to be that bothered about baths, I'd run the tap, add a bit of Raddox, and jump in when it's full enough. Now I'm all about oils, bath fizzes, bubble bars, bath bombs, ballistics. I've got some that I don't want to use yet, they're just too pretty!

Both of these lovely products are from an independent brand called Ottoman Scent Co, founded in 2011 by a husband and wife team who are passionate about creating products inspired by Turkey and the Orient. Their key products are the fruit soaps (how nice do they look!) which is actually a Turkish tradition dating back 300 years. Their products come beautifully packaged, even the bath cupcakes, which makes them perfect as gifts, and they are made from natural ingredients, all handmade in the UK and free from SLS. 

I couldn't wait to use both the candle and bath cupcake, they smell lovely. I'm happy that they are free from nasty synthetic ingredients. Big companies don't always care but that's when you can turn to small businesses, you can count on them for creating quality products and listening to their customers. The candles are made from natural waxes and the bath/soaps contain nourishing and moisturising cocoa and shea butters. The cupcake can be used up to four times, and although it doesn't create bubbles and colour the water in to a bright colour, it does leave your skin glowing, and feeling uber soft and moisturised. 

Knowing how much you guys love candles too, I've teamed up with the company and Ottoman Scent are giving my blog readers and Facebook followers the chance to win a set of these awesome pampering treats for yourself! There are three sets up for grabs (3 winners to win 1 candle and 1 bath cupcake). The giveaway launches on Facebook on Monday but, as always, I'm giving your guys an exclusive head start! All you have to do is:

To enter the giveaway:
- Follow my blog via GFC (that's the button on the left hand side "Join This Site"
- Visit the candle page, and leave a comment to let us know which scent tickles your fancy! (Don't forget to leave your twitter handle so that I can contact you if you're one of the winners)

For Facebook entries, please visit my Page to find out more on how to enter!

This giveaway is open to UK residents only. This blogpost will be updated with a winner announcement on the week commencing 14th April.

Terms and Conditions:
This is a free prize draw. By entering this competition you agree to follow these terms and conditions of entry. The competition ends at midnight on 14th April 2014. No responsibility can be accepted for any entries which are late, lost or incomplete. There will be three winners, each chosen at random from the prize draw. Each winner will receive a candle and bath cupcake from Ottoman Scent Co. Fragrance options chosen at random by Ottoman Scent Co. This prize is not interchangeable. There are no cash alternatives: prizes must be accepted as offered. The competition is open to UK residents only. Entries throughout the two social media channels (blog and Facebook) will be collated on to one computerised system and the winner(s) will be chosen at random. Winners(s) will be contacted via email and have 72 hours to claim the prize. Failure to reply will result in reselecting a new winner.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Benefit Cosmetics Big Easy | Review

benefit bb cream

Benefit Cosmetics Big Easy - £27.50

I'm loving all the new releases from Benefit lately, and I've been enjoying using their latest product! Big Easy is a multi-balancing complexion perfector. Claiming to be "bigger than BB" (cream), it offers a light to medium coverage with a matte finish. It is available in six shades and after sampling three of these, I've settled on the decision that light/medium is that one that suits my skin tone the best. 

Retailing at £27.50, this oil-free and self-adjusting cream finishes like a powder. I love the fact that it has got SPF in it! It evens out skintone, reduces redness and conceals blemishes. Being a fan of BB creams, I can confirm that this isn't like any other BB cream that I've used before. The ones I've previously tried out is light coverage and gives a dewy finish, I apply it before foundation. With Big Easy, I can use this on it's own as a foundation without having to add even more foundation over it. 

It works an absolute treat when I'm having a good skin day! It makes my skin look flawless, and it balanced out my complexion, whilst reducing shiny-ness! However, my skin has been quite dry lately, and Big Easy has been a bit of a nightmare to use on days like that. If I know I'll be using this, I will make the effort to prep my skin. I will exfoliate a couple of days beforehand, apply a face mask, and use a hydrating moisturiser (like Clinique Moisture Surge). If you suffer from dry skin, I wouldn't recommend this as it really clings-on making your face looks flaky (like it did with mine). I need to remember to drink more water throughout the day! Those with an oily skin tone will love the new product from Benefit Cosmetics! 

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What I Wore: Black And White Dogtooth Skirt

How To Style a skater skirt, fashion blog uk
Fashion Bloggers uk
Outfit links Top / Skirt* / Sunglasses* / Shoes / Bag*

A very simple and girly outfit today, but then again, all my outfits are simple and somewhat girly! I feel like I need to toughen up my style or something - but today isn't going to be that day for an image change! I wasn't sure what to wear with this skater skirt; a basic top or a white blouse? I decided to go for the top! When I wore this one (which is actually a cropped top), Niki thought that I was wearing it back to front. I'm not, by the way, but I see what he means! I like that it's low cut on the back!

My skirt here is from skirt here is from Rare, and when I opened the parcel, I held it up to my waist and initially had a brief "does my bum look big in this" moment. Rare sizes come up big, and this skirt in particular doesn't come in individual sizes (8,10,12,14, etc), only S/M or M/L so I was worried this wouldn't look right on me. You see, it's a skater style skirt made in quite a thick polyester material which makes it more structured, (and sticky-outy) than most skaters. It's actually a really nice shape. I tried it on and realised I judged too soon. It's a nice print, makes an outfit more interesting, and for the price of £26, the skirt is beautifully made. The quality of manufacturing is what I look for even in high street brands (apart from Primark) before handing over my money! A lot of older women that I talk to always complain at how bad quality clothes are these days. 

With the outfit being quite girly, I wanted to wear a bag that was quite chunky and I thought a satchel would be best as opposed to the teeny tiny leather bags I've been wearing lately. I didn't want the whole look to be "delicate" so the brown satchel off-sets that, I think. 

The skirt will look awesome worn in the Summertime without tights. I desperately need a tan before whipping my bare legs out but it looks like I'll be wearing my tights for a long time yet, what a terrible start to Spring we're having! If it's not windy, then it's foggy! Terrible weather for outfit photos (fashion blogger problems!) There are lots of lovely skirts on Rare at the moment, so don't forget to check them out!

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