Forza Italia!

This seems like positively forever ago now, but at the beginning of the month, I holidayed on Lake Garda for the week. My mum and I promoted each other to “chief drinking buddy”, and we spent our days sightseeing, eating, and generally living la dolce vita.

We were even incredibly cultured, and got to watch the opera in Verona, in the arena where it all started. It was absolutely stunning, and as long as the forecast doesn’t even suggest rain, I would recommend it a thousand times over. Don’t ask me about the 2-hour coach trip each way, though, especially when the journey back to Gardone started after 1am.IMG_0989 IMG_0993 IMG_1004 IMG_1011 IMG_1012

The shopping was rubbish, I’m sorry to say, but isn’t the scenery fabulous?

(yes, I took these photos myself. In lieu of watermarks, please promise me you won’t steal them? Love and kisses in return for your cooperation x)

Veni, Vidi, Vici

There are many, many sources of great temptation in my life. These days, chocolate is one of them. All Saints (the clothes, not the band…) has always been another. As we well know, I am the laziest dresser known to (wo)man – I may look well put together, yes, but that is purely by virtue of the fact that 99% of my wardrobe is made up of items so similar, they might as well be identical. All Saints completely aids and abets me in this objective, because 99% of their collections are made up of items so similar, they might as well be identical. Besides which, they have that “effortless chic” look that tips me just this side of the line between casual and ragamuffin. Too bad their clothes can’t do my hair and makeup for me, or I really would be set.
Such genius does come at something of a price. Let’s be honest, I’m a student. As much as I would love them to, no high-end label is falling over itself to hand me a Frequent Flyer card. I am just as incredulous as anybody else, don’t worry. Anyway, All Saints is definitely at the higher end of my wardrobe – so large, by the way, I couldn’t fit everything back into it when I made my glorious, glorious return from Barcelona. In spite of this, a girl simply can’t show up to a party in her birthday suit (even if it is her own, very important, landmark birthday), and it would be even ruder not to step into a store offering 20% student discount and 50% off in the sale. So as luck would have it, during a recent trip to London, veni, vidi, vici…and my wardrobe gained a little more territory. Not very much time later, I stepped rather gleefully out of the Regent Street boutique with the Addie skirt and Amei long-sleeved dress in, well, a brown paper bag.
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Sale purchase, lucky lucky me. I have a very similar skirt in a pale grey, but it has more of a tulip silhouette, whereas this is more of a sarong style. Either way, it has just enough folds and drapery to disguise a multitude of sins, which is just how I like my clothing. As with all All Saints clothing, better to size up and err on the side of caution, though.
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(yes, stock photos. I’m halfway to Gatwick!)
Second purchase. I’m hoping to wear this to my birthday party, but I will definitely have to keep up a rigorous fitness regime because it is so very short, much like all All Saints LBDs. I might have my age on my side (twenty-one is still a completely appropriate age to wear hems better suited to tops, no?) but I’m treading a fine line, and only the finest of legs will do.
So, about those ties. I stood in front of a mirror and wondered if there was something wrong with me, or worse still, the dress. I finally figured out that those ties trailing down my legs were meant to be wrapped around the inside of the dress, and not on the outside (now that was one obscenely short dress…). I’ll give All Saints a solid B for user friendliness there – perhaps they should look into an instruction manual for those as dopey as me?
…and there we have my latest acquisitions – yes, all those words, for just two items. Such is writing about clothes for a hobby, I suppose. I’m a happy bunny so far, but time and repeated wears will tell me (and therefore you) how the clothes hold up. If it’s anything like the other pieces I’ve had from them, though, there shouldn’t be an issue. I do think that it’s worth waiting for a student discount or sale before buying, though, as I do shudder at paying full-price for the label. Yes, even I can think something is overpriced. I’m working on stamping that trait out, fear not, but for now, I’m jetting off to Italy for a week. Expect many, many social media updates.

When the Night Falls

(oh yeah)

Ahem. I’ve been taking a break from staring despondently at the thunderstorms that have plagued Barcelona for the last month or so, and dragged my fine self back to England for a week. While I’ve been here, I actually put a full face of makeup on (!) and went to London for a gig. This time, I was not too hungover to see Chromeo – small miracles and all that; it’s only taken three years. Oh, and that I managed to stay in Camden, rather than drifting off to the other end of London. Baby steps to responsibility, that’s me.

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Anyway, it’s two days after the fact, but here is what I can remember putting on, in something of a hurry to get to the train. Credits to my mother for the photography. Cameras confuse her, so it really was a show of love that she tried handling my beastie and my attempts not to burst out laughing.

 

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(hi there, chubby cheeks. Didn’t miss you in the slightest. And this does look disturbingly similar to some sort of publicity headshot…that won’t happen again.)

Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish foundation primer and hydrating under-eye primer

Foundation: Chanel Perfection Lumière

Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and YSL Touche Éclat Shade 01

Bronzer: Chanel Tan de Soleil (no longer available, apparently, but it’s my favourite!)

Blush: Benefit Benetint

Highlighter: Benefit High Beam

Eyeshadows: Urban Decay Naked 2 palette

Eyeliner: MAC Superslick liquid eyeliner and NARS eyeliner pencil (mine is chunkier than this, but it’s the closest equivalent I can find!)

Mascara: Chanel Volume de Chanel mascara

Lipstick: Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick in Electric Pink matte

…just for shits and giggles, this is what I looked like seven hours later. The face makeup held up incredibly well from all the trauma inflicted; if only I could say the same for my energy levels. Hello, late-night Starbucks.

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I’m back to Spain tomorrow for my final two weeks…no, I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone. It doesn’t seem like nine months ago I was atop the Shard, saying goodbye to London, and it really doesn’t feel like so long ago that I was panicking over where to live in Spain or any of those logistical niceties. It’s been the experience of a lifetime, but I’m unbelievably excited to be heading back to my beloved Blighty for good. You may all get excited for my final and most glorious return, also. xxx

 

 

You’re So Vain

…but why is vanity such a deplorable thing, anyway?

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We’re nearly halfway through the year, however that happened. You can, therefore, be forgiven if your elephant memory happened to forget that “selfie” was THE word of 2013, according to the Oxford Dictionary. Old news, I know, but England and Europe are lazy, and we get US Vogue a month behind the Yanks. Not only did Kimye grace its hallowed pages, but so did an article lauding Kate Upton as the face of “the selfie generation”. With all the terrible press this same generation gets – us entitled, pushy, self-absorbed, and unfathomably obnoxious millenials, shame on us – well, of course we would be fans of the front-facing camera. And of course that’s just another reason to denigrate our deluded, inflated egos for the smoke and mirrors they are.

My real problem with defining vanity as the cardinal sin is that it really is just another way to put someone down. See someone taking a photo of themselves, smiling (or, hell, even pouting) for seemingly no reason? How dare they fool themselves into believing that they are that attractive. How dare they impose their face on anybody with the lack of foresight required to wade into the cesspool that is social media? Because, Goddamn it, I can, and so can they. Judge their makeup, clothes, duckface, any of that, but don’t judge that they’re comfortable sharing their face with social media.

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Don’t worry, I did not buy this.

As I’ve stated ad nauseam and then some, I live abroad. Impromptu mugshots of me are just one of the many ways that any of my family/friends/reverse harem can keep track of me. You know what, though? It’s a damn good one. I take photos of myself when I look AND when I feel good. Not seeing me making duck face all over your iPhone screen means it’s time to call the therapist. Sorry I’m not sorry. Need more proof that “vain” isn’t the worst thing you can label somebody? Well, there are maybe ten photos of me between starting university in September of 2011, and the beginning of 2013. Of those that exist, none are going up on here; frankly, I look like a corpse bride, and not just in the way I resemble Her Ladyship on any given early morning. That says nothing and everything about my mental state at the time.

Thus, any example of vanity is generally a sign that we want to be remembered, and this is how. Not just in pixels, but by those around us. You can conform to and/or criticise modern beauty standards all you want, but they didn’t spring up overnight; they just changed shape. Pretty much literally. So sue me if I want my hypothetical descendants only to see those photos in which I’ve dolled myself up and feel absolutely knockout stunning. Nobody knows my best, most flattering angles better than I do. Likewise, nobody wants to see the photo my darling brother took of me after a day’s travelling. And so sue me if sometimes, I want the ego boost of someone shouting after me that I’m pretty/beautiful/hot in the street. Keep it clean and out of my personal space, and that kind of validation is pretty sah-weet. Again, sorry I’m not sorry.

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I don’t know about “stunning”, but post-drink selfies really are the best kind of selfies.

It isn’t just when you look good, though. Who hasn’t taken the piss out of themselves by posting a Beyoncé-style selfie captioned “I woke up like dis”? I didn’t and still don’t agree with the selfie for cancer awareness bandwagon – that’s a whole other rant. If, however, you can’t commiserate lightheartedly with your fellow man and woman that you don’t look fit for the red carpet without makeup/with a face mask on/so hungover it’s a wonder you woke up/all of the above, the alternative is, frankly, just too depressing. You don’t have to take this vanity malarkey so seriously! Let’s all sit in a circle, sing Kumbayah, and bitch that we don’t look like the love child of Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson, and every single winner of People’s Most Beautiful Award. It’s a bonding experience.

(no, there is no example of an “I woke up like dis” selfie. I do have some dignity hidden somewhere…)

I will say it loud, and I will say it proud: I am vain. I (usually) care about and take pride in how I look. Aged almost twenty-one, I am not ashamed to have a princess complex larger than the Graff diamond, and control freak tendencies that would make Monica Gellar blush. For goodness’ sake, I write a blog, the ultimate in vanity publishing. I wear those labels happily, because they’ve got me where I am today, and that’s not a bad place, thanks. Should you still look down on me because I want to be remembered for what I did AND what I wore, and because I invest time and (far too much) money in the latter? Well, go ahead and throw stones.
…but first, let me take a selfie.

 

 

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