Friday, 15 June 2012

Cleo by Panache - Rihanna

It is is no secret that I am a huge advocate of not only well fitting, but gorgeous, underwear.  As a trained bra-fitter, I am extremely passionate about ensuring that all woman have the option to wear bras that not only fit them like a glove but are pretty too, no matter what size they are.

I have shouted about how to ensure you are wearing the right size and also highlighted a great bra from Marks and Spencer but now it is the turn of Panache to be thrown into the spotlight...

I first became aware of Panache when I was working for House of Fraser in the lingerie department in 2008.  I recognised them as a brand that desired to serve women with fuller bust and for me, that is always a great thing!  They dropped off the radar a little but then in the Summer of 2009, they launched Cleo.  A sister brand that has an aim to provide fashionable and vibrant trend-led designs in sizes D-J cups that, maybe most importantly, start from a 28 back.

As a girl with a larger-than-average cup size, I jumped at the chance to try out one of their styles and I have to say, I am seriously impressed.

Style and Cut

I was sent the Rihanna set and although on first impressions I felt the pattern was a bit out there for me, the actual cut of the bra more than makes up for it.

It is a classic balconette shape - wide set straps, a deep centre piece and an uplift that provide a classic rounded shape, rather than an statement deep cleavage.  This is my personal favourite style as it gives you a great shape without being overly obvious which when you have large breasts, is a great option.


I requested a 32FF which is my standard size in popular brands such as Freya and Fantastie.  I am pleased to report that this fits absolutely perfectly and is very true to size.  This, is my mind, is a sign of a great company who are focused on ensuring their bras fit to industry standard.  This is where companies such as La Senza fall down in my mind as the larger breast size is not their main priority.


This is perhaps the most important factor and one I have to say that the Rihanna bra delivers on.  After a 12 hour stint, I am pleased to report no digging in or rubbing of wires and the bra was a dream to wear.  It kept me supported and comfortable whilst giving a great shape at the same time.

To sum it all up, I am truly impressed with this bra.  With a larger cup size, it is so important to wear well fitting and comfortable underwear and Cleo really delivers the goods.  I have definitely got my eye on a few more designs and it is safe to say, Cleo and Panache are back on my radar for good!

Have you tried any underwear from Cleo or Panache?  Do you have trouble finding great bras that fit well or have any questions on sizing?  Let me know!


Monday, 11 June 2012

Jet Set - Michael Kors

This post is long overdue. Two weeks overdue to be precise. Two weeks since I had a new man enter my life.

His name?


Now, I know this particular man is not just mine. He holds a special place in the lives of many but I am not one to get jealous; there is plenty of him to go around.

I am of course talking about Mr Kors himself. The genius who has ensured every woman I know wants a piece from his collection. Be it a bag, a watch...we all want him in our life!

For me, it's the Jet Set watch in Rose Gold. A chunky, boyfriend style chronographic wrist piece made feminine by the dainty clear stones surrounding the watch face. It's a solid, statement piece that is classic, pretty and modern all at the same time.

Since purchasing in House of Fraser, this beauty hasn't been off my wrist.  It has the ability to dress up the simplest outfits and negates the need for a whole host of other accessories.  This is one purchase I have no regrets over.

It's safe to say - this is love and Michael will be in my life for a long time to come....

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Origins GinZing Eye Cream

I took my first dip into the Origins pool at Christmas. As a student, I never spent a large amount of money on skin care but since graduating, it's been a new focus. I am taking on board the thought process of the French: invest in products that will help your skin; not just cover up the problems.

With that in mind, I believe a good eye cream is an essential product. They say your eyes are the window to the soul and with none of us getting any younger, a product to help delay those tell tale lines is truly a girl's best friend!

I decided on Origins' GinZing offering I will admit, mainly due to 'blogger enabling'. I had read and listened to numerous reviews that sung this product's praises. I was entranced by its promise to de-puff via its caffeine-loaded formula and instantly brighten dark circles. As a sufferer of the dreaded shadows, it seemed like a potential HG product. 5 months down the line and unfortunately I'm not so sure....

I have to give GinZing its due - it does what it says on the tin. It's brightening and refreshing; it makes your eyes feel soothed and drastically more awake looking than when you first rolled out of bed. However, I feel it does this in more of a cosmetic way than an actual skin care way. The reasoning for this is that it is packed full of light reflecting particles which results in it being basically a creamy highlighter. Used sparingly it has the effect of brightening the eyes but if you apply too much, you look like you've smeared a cheap shimmery product all over your eyes in an attempt to cover your dark circles. Not ideal!

I find it also has limited moisturing power and by the middle of the day, my eyes look very dry - making those little lines a tad too pronounced for my liking! This is however, not really Origins fault as it never promises GinZing to be anything more than an instant fix.

Overall, this product is not for me. It doesn't live up to my new French ideals as it is purely a top layer product that will have no lasting results. I do like it, and with a four star rating, it's safe to say many others do too but at £21.00, it is nowhere near as heavy duty as I would like.

And so, the eye cream search goes on. I have been trialling a few different lotions and potions but that's for another day...!

NB Apolgoies for the stock photo; technology is proving to be a bit of an issue at the moment. Normal business will resume shortly!

Monday, 7 May 2012

In Style Peach Sorbet

Since my last haul of the nail polish variety, I was determined they would be the last purchases for a while.  Then I saw In Style's latest issue and well, the rest is history!

Nails Inc latest freebie offerings (they are so good to us!) come in 3 beautiful Spring-appropriate shades and as soon as I saw the selection, I knew Peach Sorbet had to be mine.  The name conjures up a colour that is delicate, pretty and feminine; and the result is just that.

As for the application, the first layer results in a surprisingly pigmented and opaque finish, although some-what streaky.  After a second coat, the colour is truly opaque and could well be left here - as I have done on my toes - but I did apply a third and final coat to ensure no streaks.  After a top layer with Seche Vite, you are left with a beautiful and glossy light peach shade that is nude in some lights and slightly pink in others.  It is almost like a peachy cousin of OPI's Mod About You; creamy and very light but with enough colour that it stops your hands looking like a corpse and will also look amazing offset with a deep tan.

I think this is going to have to be a shade that I will buy multiple copies of the same magazine for.  I want back ups of this and for the price of £3.80, it'd be rude not to!


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Instagram Part 2

1.  My Essie Spring haul. Which contains my new all-time favourite shade - keep your eyes peeled for a post soon!  2.  Little blue box.  So cute it has to be out on display.  3.  Fan di Fendi.  My current favourite perfume.  4.  When caught in a downpour, Nero came to the rescue.  70% cream, 30% hot chocolate - just how I like it!  5.  Beautiful blossom in Camden.  6.  Girls' Night!  7.  Saturday night in wouldn't be complete without a Domino's.  8.  Cocktails  9.  Naughty maccas.  10.  Louis.  11.  Thursday's preppy styling.  Sperry Topsider - as seen on Rose aka The Londoner - dupes.  12.  Double Wear re-purchase and Summer appropriate yellow nail varnish.  13.  Trialling new Lauder skin care.  14.  Saturday night's face.  15.  Essie heaven in Superdrug's Marble Arch Store  16.  Prezzo's goats' cheese salad; food of the gods.

Please link me to your Instagram posts - I am truly obsessed!


Saturday, 21 April 2012

St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Lotion

Many moons ago, when my blog was a lot younger, I posted quite a few fake tan reviews with the most recent being St Moriz mousse. Since then, there have been no more reviews. Rest assured, I am still very much a serial faux-tanner but the St. Moriz gave me everything I looked for in a tan, so I didn't feel the need to branch out. At just a few pounds a bottle, my previous faves - Xen-Tan and St. Tropez were blown out of the water!

However, the time has come for a new favourite to take over!

Same brand; different tan.

The St. Moriz lotion, like it's mousse counterpart, is heralded as an instant tan. However, do not be fooled! On application, you will look like the mud monster but after a minimum of 4 hours and a quick shower, you'll look like a bronzed goddess for a good few days!

And here are the other reasons I love it so much and why it beat the mousse format to the top spot..


This really is a dream to apply. It glides on effortlessly, skims over all those knobbly knees and elbows and makes you realise just how hard the mousse is to apply.

5 minutes and you're whole body is done - perfect!


I won't lie, the colour is quite dark but I would say is a happy medium between the original mousse and the dark version and is also much more of a natural olive tone. One application is perfect for me with my natural pale skin but I think it is definitely buildable if you want to be darker!

Staying Power

For me, this is probably the most important aspect of a tan. If I've spent a lot of time prepping my skin and painstakingly applying a product, I want to be happy knowing that it will have longevity; ensuring I don't have to go to all that effort every other day. I also want it to wear evenly so I don't have to worry about covering up unsightly patches or spending hours scrubbing it all off just to start again.

This lotion? Wins in both aspects. With a daily light exfoliation in the shower - which I do religiously - this tan wears beautifully. No patches; no stubborn areas. Just seven days of gradual fading before you're ready to start again. Also, if you do maybe feel like a full body exfoliation, it comes off easily without you having to scrub your skin until it is raw. This is where the mousse falls down, as does Xen-Tan.


A truly amazing tan. Beautiful colour, simple application and longevity which means it saves so much time and effort. If you are a label junkie like me - do not be put off. The affordable price is not relative to the result. I just stocked up due to the current selling price of 99p in Tesco - after all, it would've been rude not to..!!

Are you a St. Moriz fan? How do you rate the Lotion vs. Mousse? I'd love to know your thoughts!


Thursday, 12 April 2012

H&M Spring Haul

H&M never fails to disappoint, does it?!  I find the quality lies somewhere between Primark and Topshop and thankfully, so does the price.  Zara is by all means probably my favourite high street store but H&M comes a very close second.  It has definitely come on leaps & bounds in the last few years and doesn't have the jumble sale feel it once used to have.  With the Conscious Collection also at the forefront of their latest campaigns - they are the biggest user of organic cotton in the world - you can also feel you're doing some good whilst purchasing your cheaper-than-the average garments!

I grabbed these boots as soon as I saw them as they are exactly what I have been after for some time; a relatively low wedge that I can tuck my jeans into and wear on a daily basis without looking ridiculous tottering around in my usual array of stilettos.  I wore these tonight with my trusty Topshop Leigh jeans and as well as looking stylish, they were ridiculously comfortable.

From the aforementioned Conscious Collection, these blouses are so pretty, beautifully flattering and a steal at £9.99 - so good, I had to buy in multiple colours; it would have been rude not to!

A few other bits also caught my eye - namely the gorgeous collection of bikinis they have this year which had me conjuring up images of sun drenched beaches and crystal clear sea - but I restrained myself; for the moment!

Now, where did I put that holiday brochure....

Friday, 6 April 2012

Instagram Part 1

1. My beautiful best friend made this for me for a new job/moving to London present.  The clever thing is so creative and talented - I cannot believe she did this for me.  She is an absolute star.
2. Chanel - no words needed..!
3. I cannot get crochet skirts out of my head after seeing this image splashed all over We Heart It/Tumblr/Pinterest.  I've found a yellow one in Zara but it's not quite right.  The hunt continues!
4. A good hair day - my trusty Boots tongs are still going strong.
5. The beautiful weather of last week.
6. Topshop Love bracelet.
7. Hollister and Chanel haul - naughty but oh so nice.
8. Fendi gift set - My favourite perfume of 2012 so far.
9. Dublin.  What is it that is so magical about a Ferris Wheel?

Please let me know your Instagram usernames - I have no shame in admitting, I am an addict!


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

SS12 Inspiration

Toned and tanned skin.  Denim cut offs.  Expensive fabrics.  Lace.  Crochet.  Brown leather. Slouchy tees.  Sheer blouses.   Sundresses. White.  Coral.  Peach.  Mint green.  Gold jewellery.  Turquoise accents.  Effortless hair.

I am so excited about this Summer - new job. new city.  I've got a good feeling about this one.....

Saturday, 31 March 2012

London's Calling...

I very rarely do posts like these but I felt an update was seriously needed!

In the past two weeks or so, my life has done a complete 180.  I never really mentioned it anywhere but the job I landed after University, although a great opportunity, wasn't really working out and started to make me very unhappy.  So, I quit.  One Wednesday afternoon, with nothing planned.  It was probably the most reckless thing I've ever done; and it felt amazing.

Since then, life has been a bit of a whirlwind of CV writing, interviews and sudden panics that nobody will ever employ me ever again.  Thankfully, it all came to head yesterday when I got a job offer for a role I desperately wanted and then signed on a property a stones throw away from Clapham Common.  I can't quite believe I'll be living and working in London - one of my dreams which I can tick off my bucket list!

Things may be a little quiet in the run up to the move but rest assured, once I get paid - there will be some major hauling!! 

Now, where was that Champagne...


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Bikini Weather - Haul

The sun is shining and although I may not be quite brave enough to don a bikini in the garden just yet, there is no denying that swimsuit season is right around the corner.

I purchased a few new bikinis for my Moroccan adventure in February - at the time I never had a chance to show them to you, but now seems like the perfect opportunity!

I adore swimwear and like most girls have an urge to buy a few new suits each year which can be an expensive habit.  However, I am happy to say, these beauties come from that shop that I have extreme love/hate relationship with - Primark.  At just £3/£4 for each separate, in extremely cute designs - they have once again delivered the goods!

I love the ability to buy separate sizes - can anybody these days honestly fit in a generic, one size bikini? - and the added little details such as the gold hardware on the nautical themed suit.  I am also happy to say that after a number of swims, they appear to wear beautifully... 10/10 in my book!

Although I bought these in early February, I have seen them in store very recently along with a few other designs that I have got my eye on too.  Have you spotted any cute swimwear recently for the new season?  Let me know!

Sunday, 25 March 2012


It's official.  I'm hooked.

It took me a little while but it's safe to say that after just half an hour last night, I am now a fully fledged Pinterest addict.

I'll admit, I was a bit sceptical.. After all, I have Tumblr and WeHeartIt so why the need for another 'online inspiration' site?  Why confuse and complicate things with bringing in yet another social media site into the mix?

Well, I'm sorry to say that I think those two aforementioned sites are probably a thing of the past for me.  Pinterest brings together all the good points of the two - my OCD is kept under control with the ability to sort photos into topics (where Tumblr fell down) and you can see photos for as many or as few people as you like (where WeHeartIt lost it a bit for me down to the sheer amount of photos).  I also love the incredibly easy Chrome extension which ensures it takes mere seconds to pin any photo onto your desired board and credit it all at the same time - no time wasting here!!

Now the only problem is, I follow hardly any people or boards and definitely need some recommendations!  Please let me know your personal or favourite boards - you will be feeding my addiction, and that is definitely a good thing ;)

Friday, 23 March 2012

School Bag - Modalu Libertine

Unfortunately, I am no longer at school - what I'd give for those holidays again - but a bag for every day is still a necessity.  My work bag requirements are

a) Black
b) Large enough to carry all my belongings as well as the kitchen sink
c) Pretty...I am a girl after all

When I saw this beauty in House of Fraser, it was a split second decision - I.need.that.bag.  It was a bit of a splurge - £180 with a delightful 30% off - but one that was totally justified...I mean, it's gorgeous!

The front snake print suede is off set by a back panel of the most beautifully soft leather, which you can tell will age beautifully.  The handles are a feature in their own - soft black leather interwoven with gold chain and dusky mauve material - Modalu's signature colour.  Other features include beautiful shell detailing to the zips and a gorgeous dust bag in the same beautiful mauve.  Little features such as these have completely put Modalu on the map for me and it seems I am in good company, with one very well known fan - Pippa Middleton.

This bag truly puts a little smile on my face every morning - and when your on the train every at 7.20am, who doesn't need that?!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sex and The City plus a little Chanel...

The weekends for me are an opportunity to sit myself in front of my mirror and actually take my time with my make up.  This is a stark contrast to weekdays when I'm sat on a train at 7.20 and attempting to apply my face whilst half asleep....oh how glamorous!

The biggest difference from week to weekend is how I do my eye make up.  Monday to Friday it's all about the mascara and not much else.  However, come Saturday and Sunday - the eye shadow is out in force, lashes are carefully applied and more than a hint of eyeliner can be seen.

Today, this was the result:

 Golden brown eyelids with a hint of sheen courtesy of Chanel, a flick of black khol and my new obsession: Sex And The City Charlotte lashes.

The texture of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre (82) did take a bit of getting used to, I will admit.  However, the result is beautiful and the Khol pencil was an absolute dream to apply - it was soft enough to apply without dragging the delicate eyelid but still allowed for precision.  As for the lashes - these are true Holy Grail material.  They are ridiculously cheap from Savers but are fantastic quality, have an invisible band so they are so easy to apply and even after 5 or 6 wears they are still in perfect condition.  As can be seen from the picture, I have a pair of the Miranda version too which I am yet to try, but have high hopes for!

What are your current favourite for creating a simple, but effective eye look?  I'd love some recommendations!


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Dream Jeans

Every few months, that horrific day comes when you finally have to admit that your jeans do not look fashionably worn in or 'vintage'....they just look old, tired and when it gets really bad, a little bit holey.  Then the panic sets in that you have to set a day to traipse around the shops trying on a hundred pairs of jeans that are either too long/too short/too tight/too loose.  You then give up and decide that maybe your faithful jeans don't actually look too bad and you can get away with them for a little while longer....yeah right..!

Well now, those days are over for me (and hopefully you...) my friends!  These babies have caused quite a stir in the blogging community and having had them in my wardrobe for around 2 months now, I decided I needed to also declare my love for....


When I first saw these on the hanger, I though they looked far too thin and assumed they would look too baggy and just generally, pretty awful.  Oh, how wrong I was!  In reality they are:

a) So incredibly soft I could sleep in them
b) Stretchy enough that they hug all the right areas (namely my impossibly flat derrière) and give you a fantastic shape with no saggy knees in sight!
c) Tight enough around that ankles that they look perfect with any type of boot - no bunching up to be seen
d) So durable that even after a million and one washes & wears, they still look as good as new
e) Cheap as chips!
f) Available in a colour/print/length/size to suit absolutely anybody - I've got my eye on some of the fantastic new designs for spring
g) Just generally, bloody fantastic!!

If you haven't been introduced to these already, go and try them on and I promise - you'll fall in love!  You can thank me later... ;)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

February Sun: Marrakech

Exactly a week ago I was leaving the Moroccan sunshine to come home and it already feels like a million years ago..!  My boyfriend and I had made the last minute decision to book a short holiday and within a week or so we had researched possible locations, booked a 4* luxury resort in Marrakesh at an amazing price, holiday hauled (coming soon..!) and jetted off for warmer climes.  It was definitely the best way to go - last minute plans are always so exciting!

We went for 5 days of sun, relaxation and as much food and alcohol as we could manage - the post-holiday diet is already in full swing now ;)

Here are some of my favourite pictures from our time over stop - Dublin for St Paddy's day - oh yes!!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

New Year's Resolution

Hello my gorgeous girls (and boys)!

2012 has already been a whirlwind of excitement, romance, stress, fun, nights out, days in plus a million and one other things.... Unfortunately blogging has taken a back seat and although I'm not going to promise that I'll be posting every day, I'm going to try my hardest to be a good girl and post more regularly this year.  Mainly because I bloody love it and it brings me so much joy.

I hope the New Year is already better for you that expected - I have a feeling it is really going to be the best one yet....