Saturday 31 May 2014

Review: Barry M 'Satsuma'

Orange. Barry M's Satsuma installment is incredibly orange. I must admit - I think it has been a good five years since I've been pro-orange polish and recently I have hopped back onto the summer 2009 bandwagon that had me crazing over Rimmel's Tangerine Queen. Satsuma has something about it - it is undoubtedly very summery and mixes the two fab aspects of opacity and shine into a formula that is glossy and utterly summer-ready. The thing I like about it the most is that I would have never, ever picked this shade up myself - fortunately, one of my closest friends, Chloe, gifted it to me for my birthday earlier this year as she understood the severe lack of oranges in my nail polish collection. The girl did good. At £3.99 it's a bargain and will adorn my fingers and toes into the (somewhat) warmer months. I should add that although it is glossy enough sans top coat, adding one is preferable as I found it chipped quite a bit after 3 days. Longevity-wise it is not half bad though, and the gorgeous colour makes up for it. As for whether I would recommend it or not...of course I would. I think it is a universal shade, one that would suit the whole spectrum of skin tones. I wish I tanned as I think this would look stunning with a tan, although that applies for numerous summery shades.

Next on my list? Cancun, a gorgeous bright teal and Kiwi, a bright green that I have already decided will be worn on my nails at this year's Sports Day. It is my very last one, after all. My nails must be the full schbang.


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Thursday 29 May 2014

biker meets texture

 lilac top dorothy perkins | white textured skirt miss selfridge | plum biker jacket new look teens | black slouchy bag dorothy perkins | watch casio via asos (link) | black chelsea boots topshop (link) | nails: barry m prickly pear & models own boogie nights

It's an indisputable fact that half term is one of my favourite things to exist, ever. The five days off that grace us school students in October, February and May/June are completely and utterly appreciated (well, I can confirm that from my behalf anyway) and nothing in my eyes beats a good rest. Sleeping in until 10 11.30am is ideal of course. As is watching full seasons of Gossip Girl. Ultimate relaxation is good for us. Exams very nearly consumed my life and the past six days have given me some vital time to remind myself of slightly more enjoyable pastimes than revising. Staying in pyjamas all day and lazing under my duvet is my personal favourite activity of choice, I must admit.

On Sunday after work, Mum and I went to see Little Mix at the O2 (y'know, spicing things up when it comes to mother/daughter bonding) and both really enjoyed ourselves. Neither of us realised quite how good those four ladies are at dancing. Obviously they've got the whole singing thing to a T but seriously damn they really can move. Move...get it? I should steer away from pun attempts...

Today I know will be a fab day as I'm off to meet my lovely friend Nadine who spends her time between Exeter, Jordan and the East Coast of the US so I am absolutely delighted that she is coming to London. I actually met her here in the city (in Hyde Park, to be exact) just over two years ago and since then we try and meet up every time she's in the capital. I haven't seen her since early January, when I showed her the incredible restaurant that is Las Iguanas and consequently she declared her love for LI like I have. Last time we went to the Stratford branch so we're going to venture elsewhere as fortunately, there are six branches within Greater London, so there's plenty of choice. I wrote about Las Iguanas back in March as I went there with my family for my birthday....deets on that can be found here.

As for the outfit (which I probably should mention, considering I've rambled for a little too long now): I wore my trusty plum biker jacket from New Look that I got for my sixteenth birthday, so a year and a bit ago. Sadly I haven't seen any biker jackets of a similar shade since then but don't you worry, I am on the lookout. I will report back if I find a clothing dupe! The lilac top is an absolute essential from Dorothy Perkins. I bought it before undertaking work experience there two years ago and since then I've got a permanent job there so I guess it worked its magic. They no longer stock this colour but they do have it in many others, including black and a stunning jade shade, both of which you can find here. This textured skirt was a summer 2013 sale purchase from Miss Selfridge, I remember getting it on sale combined with student discount (my saviour) and picking it up for £10.20. It's a great length, not too short, so I can wear it out to the occasional party (not that I attend many, ha) and sixth form without it seeming inappropriate to either setting. The Topshop Month chelsea boots have taken me from a cold winter season to a not-so-warm spring/almost summer and have proved their position as the perfect transition boots. As much as I love them I would like to ditch them for a few months soon, perhaps in hope of nicer weather. I say 'perhaps'. I mean in desperate hope. The 3-day summer we had last week was glorious. Repeat again soon England, please?


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Thursday 22 May 2014

Olympic orange

 black slouchy top forever 21 | denim a line skirt asos (link) | black chunky sandals h&m |black shoulder bag dorothy perkins | sunglasses primark | watch casio via asos (link)| ring river island | nails: barry m gelly satsuma

Another day, another excuse to wear this ASOS skirt. Since purchasing it last December (and accidentally getting it delivered to Cardiff...) it has been on me non-stop. The black one looks pretty appetizing too...payday, please hurry up.

So this outfit is what I wore to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday, which I posted about here a couple of days ago. Something about 23 degree sunshine and the beautiful realisations that a) my new H&M sandals could get their first proper outing sooner than I'd anticipated and b) finally I could wear this skirt sans tights made me incredibly happy. Summer also calls for a summery nail polish colour in my eyes, considering I haven't touched the 'warm' end of the spectrum when it comes to nail polish colours in way too long. I'm planning on doing a post about Barry M's 'Satsuma', a recent discovery of mine through one of my best friends, who bought it for me as a birthday present a couple of months ago knowing that my nail polish collection suffered a severe deficiency of oranges.  The formula is great, its ability to chip isn't too strong and well, the rest of the gushing will be saved for the post. 

This week saw me realise (among other, far more significant things) that the ring I'm wearing in this post must have been sat on/squashed/deformed at some stage in the past few weeks, considering it used to look like a silver version of this. Not only has it lost its twin, but its shape too. Needless to say, if the silver version comes back in stock, which obviously I hope does happen, two non-deformed rings will accompany me out the shop. £3 for both of them reminds me why I love River Island's 'under five' jewellery section.

Anyway - I'm off to revise/watch excessive amounts of Gossip Girl....most likely focusing on the latter of the two. I'm 7/10 exams down with all of the important ones already crossed off my exam timetable. Critical Thinking is the only subject I have left, and well, let's thoughts on it are...critical


Tuesday 20 May 2014

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

On last Saturday, after a week which involved exams and a far too many pen stains on my fingers, I managed to persuade my family to come with me and venture around the recently-opened Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. My Mum, brother and I had all been before, during the Olympics two years ago, whereas it was my Dad's first time seeing the place. Needless to say, we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and found ourselves actually taking pleasure in walking (for miles) in the sunshine. The impact 23 degree weather makes on London is incredible. We saw thousands of families, with people of all ages soaking up the sunshine and quite frankly, I don't blame them. So here is how the day went for us...
I love living in SW London. Far enough out from Central London that getting away from its sometimes overwhelming hustle and bustle is simple, yet close enough that spending under half an hour on the train will plop us right to Waterloo. 
I made a big deal about having to use the Jubilee line. Not only is it the quickest and easiest way to get to Stratford from South London, it's also my favourite tube line by a mile. Bond St and Stratford on the same line equals plentiful shopping opportunities. 

My brother Keir isn't the best in the sunshine.
I took the opportunity of being surrounded by beautiful flowers to use the close-up setting on my camera and for a minute, feeling like a full-on nature photographer.
Photos in front of the Olympic rings really are a must. Mum and Dad reminded us of their cute one foot height difference and I took a last attempt at proving that as the taller (and stronger) sibling, I could still carry Keir, who at 13 is seriously close to overtaking me on the height ranking of my family.
Dad challenged the idea that Mum and I aren't that similar appearance-wise by snapping this photo. I'm with him on this, and so is my Mum, yet pretty much ever friend I've ever made who has met my Mum is 100% determined to prove that we look exactly the same. 
Family selfie. Not the first attempt at it, I should add.
Getting lost on the way out, thinking we would get the Central line from Leyton only to end up at Stratford International. 
The DLR seemed like the logical option of getting from Stratford towards South London, so we hopped on and remained on it until Canning Town, switching there back to my all time fave, the Jubilee Line. I just couldn't stay away! I would definitely recommend going on the DLR from Stratford International to Stratford - the journey itself can be done via walking through Westfields but a) that involves many shopping distractions and b) that option doesn't give a killer view of the Olympic Park in the way the DLR does.

So that was our day! If you're wanting a chilled day out in East London, the QEOP is definitely the place to go. Best on warm days, with sunglasses and friends/family. They definitely want you to bring your own food, as there aren't many facilities for snacks and those sold are quite expensive. Extensive green grass and killer views of Central London from a distance from the taller peaks sounds like the perfect picnic setting, right?
I'm going to leave you with these two street signs that caught my eye. The Olympics was definitely a time for celebration and cheering and I am so glad London has worked to keep the London 2012 legacy moving forwards. Seeing the Olympics in my home city was an experience I will never, ever forget. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park ensures nobody else does either.


P.S - the corresponding outfit post will go up very soon!

Sunday 18 May 2014

gingham and tortoise shell

black and white gingham dress asos petite (link) / tan satchel peacocks / black loafers new look / gold necklace charity shop

~trying it out with a filter for a change~

So what's the story? Recently, exams and I had been enemies. I've had six of them in the past 10 days but now I am sixty percent through the 10-strong bunch and feeling far more confident now than I was a week and a half ago. All of them have actually gone well so far, even French (which as my close friends know, has been the absolute bane of my life for the past nine months.) Even a dodgy MP3 player breaking three times didn't stop me from answering all the questions. And yes, I'm pretty proud of that.

I've found myself to have fallen outside the blogger circle, not one including other bloggers and who's 'in' because let's be honest, I don't believe in all of that jazz. I mean in terms of posting regularly and really getting into the blogging spirit. Needless to say, 95% of my efforts lately have been on revision (and the other 5% on watching my Gossip Girl box set) so fashion galaxies xo has been in the back seat for a while. For the past two years I've gone on a bit of a break/hiatus around this time of the year for exams and I know for a fact that it will be the same next year. Fortunately I am only a year from finishing the British school system forever which is a beautiful thought considering I've been in it for almost fourteen years now. No more breaks around May/June would be preferable, I think. Consider me getting back into my blogging circle, productive as ever. Let's see how long this lasts

This dress is a recent ASOS purchase from when they did their 50% off 50 items and this one (at the reduced price of £19) fell into my shopping bag. Emphasis on the word 'fell' there. Fell. Gingham is such a pretty, summery print and when in monochrome doesn't stray out too much from my comfort zone. Summer is a tough time for girls like myself who live in black/grey/navy/berry purple and I definitely want to open up to colour in the next few months. The dress itself is both swingy and comfy and I can just see it glued to me all summer. ASOS have hit the nail on the head with this one! Dare I say it but I am seriously craving the lilac one now...

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