Just a quick post to mention my latest nail varnish obsession: Clinique Black Honey. I adore this shade - it's the perfect near black with a hint of wine. Anyone who has tried the lipstick in this shade will know it more than earns its cult status.
I love a glossy black nail but being on the pale side, it just doesn't work for me. Somehow this shade is just perfection and I urge you to go out there and grab one for yourself post haste.
I have been compiling my list for an embarrassingly long time. I take great pleasure every year in slowly adding this and that, taking items out, putting them back in, and so on until I'm left with my perfect collection for that year.
The same things make their way on year in, year out, without fail (cashmere and new sheepskin slippers). I would have LOVED a cashmere dressing down (as per usual), but this little cable knit chap from Topshop will happily fit the bill until the time for cashmere loungewear is nigh.
I always keep one eye permanently on J.Crew's beautiful jewellery, and adding this classic statement necklace to my collection would make me very happy come Christmas day. A more subtle, yet just as wondrous piece of jewellery comes from Monica Vinader in the form of their perfect gold Siren engravable ring.
I've noticed how silver oxfords feature regularly (and perfectly) in Olivia Palermo's wardrobe, and when I spotted these narrow and perfectly refined ones from J.Crew, I dropped some hefty hints to my man friend. He's not entirely on board with shoes that he can see his reflection in, but he seems willing to put his misgivings to one side in order to make me happy.
Last, but not least, I've become mildly obsessed with coffee table books and would love to have all of the above on my coffee table, ready to be leafed through or simply sit ever so prettily in a stylish stack. And yes, I am a very late convert to the Rachel Zoe Project and love all things Zoe at the mo. Incidentally, the books would look great sitting next to this beautiful gold tray from Zara Home.
I wore my new Whistles Frankie Down Fill Bomber to visit the deer in Richmond Park this weekend. I tell you, our last few visits to the park have been rather adrenaline-filled thanks to rutting season! There are huge dear behaving erratically all over the place and they have a tendency of popping up very suddenly just a few metres away from where you're strolling. This leads to me getting wide-eyed, a touch SAS-like and beating a retreat through the brush. In the above pictures I was keeping my beady eyes on them at all times in case they made any sudden moves in my direction. I was ready.
I digress. This is my new coat from Whistles which I adore. I've been on the hunt for a down coat since last year and have finally bitten the bullet and opted for this Whistles offering. I had always thought Uniqlo would deliver, but was frightfully disappointed when their down coat arrived on my doorstep. On me, it was nipped in at the waist and very long - not the thing at all. The fur trim, whilst detachable, was rather thin and limp. All in all, a bit sad.
When I noticed this little fellow on the Whistles website, I acted swiftly and am very pleased I did. It's super warm and, as with so many Whistles pieces, is very luxe looking whilst remaining subtle and doing the job you want it to do. I find Whistles coats size quite large, so I got mine in a size 6.
A new perfume has made its way into my collection! Eau de toilette Bonpoint. Now I know what you might be thinking - am I a mother? No. Does this matter? Not in the slightest. This perfume spoke to me and many others precisely because it fits well with people that love wearing a fragrance but don't want something overpowering and in your face, but something subtle and expensive smelling. It's the perfect every day scent. The blend of orange blossom, petitgrain and jasmine makes for such a gentle, elegant perfume. On me, I find it has that clean, crisp, ever so slightly masculine edge in amidst the florals. It's exactly this that I love in Jo Malone's Lime Basil and Mandarin cologne and attracts me to the classic Acqua di Parma scent. As if being a lovely perfume wasn't enough, it was so beautifully packaged and presented in a little pink dust bag. Perfection. Eau de toilette Bonpoint 50ml £39
I kid you not, I have used the phrase 'perfume crisis' a shameful amount of times over the past few weeks. Frankly saying it just once is a tad shameful.
I have always been very picky about my perfumes. I demand quite a lot from them. I shy away from strong, heady, smoky, rich perfumes, which serve only to make me feel a bit travel sick. Ideally I like my perfumes to be light (but with staying power), fresh, pretty, with a dash of complexity thrown in for good measure (and all wrapped up in a beautiful, simple bottle). I love the ritual of putting on perfume before leaving the house. It's such a perfectly chic finishing touch.
In the past I've definitely been guilty of buying perfumes that are decidedly not me, buying before trying because I've fallen for the hype, or the beautiful bottle, or knowing it has graced the pulse points of my sartorial heroes. Par example: I'd love to love Byredo's Gypsy Water or Bal D'Afrique, Frederic Malle's Carnal Flower, Kai, Diptyque's Ombre dans L'Eau, Jo Malone's Blackberry & Bay and everything by Le Labo... but I'd just be lying to myself (and making myself feel nauseous into the bargain).
Up to now, my favourite perfumes (that are no longer in rotation) have been:
Diptyque Eau de Lierre, Diptyque Eau Duelle, Jo Malone Wild Bluebell, Byredo Pulp
Still in rotation:
Jo Malone Lime, Basil & Mandarin (for work) and Creed Love in White (spring/summer)
I think, if I'm honest, my ongoing quest for new perfect perfumes comes down to wanting a perfumes that are 'me', but also contain an aspirational element - 'the me I want to be'. I think this is why I will most probably not be the sort of person who has one signature scent. I like to think I'll have a collection of signature scents, archiving different stages of my life and the development of my tastes. When I spritz perfumes I have previously worn, they enable me to take a trip down memory lane. When I stumble across a new scent, it is like turning over a crisp, fresh page. New perfumes feel full of possibilities.
Given the close of summer, my beloved Love in White doesn't feel right for the new season, rendering me in a perfume-less rut! The quest is back on in earnest, and with any luck, the "crisis" will be over soon.
Topshop has 20% off for students at the moment so naturally I went a-hunting. Yes I'm still a student - as if those puffy eyes don't say "Taxation". I was very keen to seek out a grey angora hoody I've had my eye on, and a white graphic textured sweater. The latter is not entirely my typical style, but I just love something about it. To top it off, its incredibly comfy. Word to the wise - I sized up to achieve the look I was after.
I also spotted a brilliant navy skirt - which my photos fail to do justice, but it's a lovely thick, luxurious fabric which I think will be pretty awesome when the festive season kicks in.
Top to bottom, left to right: Zara knit, Zara knit again, Uniqlo cashmere v-neck, River Island cocoon jumper, Topshop biker jacket, Topshop jacquard coat, Zara hooded wrap coat, Gap puffer jacket, Whistles Alice boyfriend jeans, Mango skirt, Zara boots, Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats, Topshop smoking slippers, Diptyque candle, Nars lip pencils, J.Crew necklace
So... this sudden return of summer to London is putting something of a spanner in the works. I had done the big wardrobe change over (read: carefully packed away all my summer clothes into one of those see-through bags and vacuumed the bejeezus out of it) and moved my thick jumpers up to the 'in rotation' drawer. I had summer dressing all wrapped up and was looking forward to the winds of change. So for the sake of my sanity I am going to treat this week's glorious weather as a blip. I shall naturally be enjoying the blip, but all the while feeling a tad peeved that my new wardrobe plans are being blighted.
As per usual I am drawn to all the same things I am drawn to every year - chunky knits, grey cashmere with costume jewellery or a bright lip, classic coats (biker, camel and down) and coats with a little bit of an edge to them (green jacquard courtesy of Topshop will do nicely!).
A few snaps from the past week in Kaminaki in Greece. It was so wonderful - our little villa sat right on the beach, there was incredible food every evening at the Taverna on the beach, swimming and time en famille (including oodles of hugs with my niece Florence) and not a drop of rain. I meant to take some outfit pictures, but somehow only got round to documenting two cover ups! Both from Topshop.
My thoughts are now moving to Autumn and I have that exciting new term feeling. I've dusted down the desk, geared up my brain, bought a new pen pot and taken my high summer things out of rotation. I've eBayed the things I no longer enjoy wearing and have started planning new season purchases. It has been a lovely, relaxing, fun-filled summer and I'm a little sad to see it go. But I am an autumnal/wintery gal at heart and cannot wait for the season just around the corner.
L to R, top starting at the top: Topshop top, Whistles leopard top, River Island smock, JCrew stripe top, JCrew denim shirt, River Island embellished scallop top, Zara dress, Topshop Aztec print dress, Jamie Jeans in light blue, blue and white, Warehouse pocket tees in blue/grey and black, JCrew 3" navy chino shorts, Zara denim shorts, Duccio Venturi sandals and beige ballet pumps, Topshop swimwear, Monsoon blouse, Topshop cover ups, straw sun hat and slim Havainas. JCrew and Topshop earrings, Monica Vinader ring, Oribe Volumista, Oribe Apres Beach, Phyto Sun Veil, La Roche Posay factor 50 for face, Clarins fragrance, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Diptyque candle, Oliver Peoples and Miu Miu sunglasses.
It's that time of year again! We're off to Kaminaki in Greece to spend a week en famille. In the build up to jetting off, polyvore has been as invaluable as always. It has once again enabled me to edit down the items I want to take. Truth be told, in a separate collage I arrange all the above in outfits to ensure it all makes sense.
In the day time we're mostly just in our swim things, with cover ups over the top for lunch and afternoon strolls, so I don't really need to take any "day time" outfits. I normally only take one cover up but am taking three this year for a bit more variety! A beautiful lace number from Topshop and a hot pink aztec print maxi dress (also from Topshop) which I've had shortened a little so that I don't trip my way along the beach.
For evening I like a mix of prints, embroidery, a dash of embellishment and clean classics dressed up with fun earrings. My Duccio Venturi sandals were my buy of the summer and I heartily regret not buying the same style in black suede. These little chaps will work very hard throughout the week.
I'm in love with sunglasses at the moment and am taking along a classic pair by Oliver Peoples and a more interesting, fun pair by Miu Miu. As well as taking a hat along to protect my hair, I'm also going to try out Sun Veil by Phyto having enjoyed their Hydrating Day Cream for hair so much. Inspired by Nicole Ritchie, I plan to style my hair with a deep side parting, pulled back into a low bun with the Sun Veil applied to the finished product. Oribe has also recently become my go-to brand for reliable hair care that delivers what it promises. I'll be taking a mini Apres Beach spray for loose beachy waves and Volumista to help my hair look a little more lively. I'm not a fan of overwhelming fragrances on holiday, so this rebalancing number from Clarins will work a treat.
I'm planning on taking outfit photos whilst away, so be sure to check on the blog and Instagram for updates!
Introducing my new Miu Miu sunglasses which I wore during a stroll with my sister, brother-in-law and my deliciously chubby niece. These are my replacements for my mislaid Tom Ford sunglasses and are a very welcome addition indeed. That said, they are not as subtle as my previous shades. My sister greeted them with a good natured "you've gone too far this time", and my bother-in-law informed me I'd crossed the rubicon. Serious indeed. So I might just have to seek out a more classical pair for those times when black and white tortoiseshell cat eye frames are a tad too much. But they remind me of Olivia Palermo and I love them, so I'm very very pleased.
I'm wearing: Warehouse tee, Topshop jeans, Bijoux by Desi F necklace and Miu Miu sunglasses.
Owing to my feeling a little on the 'blah' side yesterday, we spent the day out in the fresh air, walking around Richmond Park in the morning and then up to Richmond Hill Bakery for a piece of date and hazelnut cake in the afternoon.
The weather is a tad unpredictable at the moment. I find myself veering between cursing myself for ever thinking it was acceptable to wear jeans in August, and putting my sunglasses away, groping around for the nearest available layer and grimly declaring Autumn's arrival.
I wore a Topshop sleeveless blouse, Topshop Jamie jeans, Russell & Bromley ballet pumps and Miu Miu sunglasses. Funny story about the shades - I have, for now at least, moved past the big shade time of my life, but I brilliantly left my Tom Ford Cary sunglasses sitting alone on a train to Waterloo a few weeks ago and have thus had to return to said bigger shades. I still feel affectionately towards them, but am a tad conscious that they make everything look a little "done". Like I'm the kind of gal who keeps hairspray in my bag at all times and would hate to attempt any task that might risk my french manicure. Not a look I enjoy. A new pair of sunglasses are winging their way to me as they speak, so if they're a success I'll be sure to share them on here sharpish.
Bring the sugar, thyme and 1 cup of water to the boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then stir in the lemon juice, gin and 6 cups of cold water and strain into a pitcher. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve over ice and garnish with sprigs of thyme.
This may well be my new favourite summer cocktail. It was cool and refreshing with the thyme and gin giving it a great edge, but steering well clear of being too much. I hate strong cocktails. White Peach Maple Soda by Quitokeeto
1/2 cup (125ml) of maple syrup
1/4 cup (60ml) of water
2 cups of unpeeled white peaches (about 3)
Over a low heat combine the maple syrup, water and white peaches which have been cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Warm the peaches to soften them a little, but do not over cook.
Puree the mixture with a hand blender and set aside to cool.
Fill each glass with ice and add 1 part puree to 3 parts soda water and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir and serve with a sprig of fresh lavender (if you have some!) This is a lovely mocktail for alcohol eschewing guests or those who just fancy a break from the gin as the evening goes on! Incidentally, I feel like the puree could work really nicely in a prosecco/champagne cocktail for a twist on a classical bellini and plan to try it asap!