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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

My Autumnal Scent

Liberty and Diptyque... it's like strawberries and cream; put together, they compliment each other perfectly. Both brands have quality, heritage and luxury rooted in their values so it would only make sense that they come together to create something special. 

The results of their collaboration is a limited edition scented candle called Insolite. The packaging it is in itself absolutely stunning featuring the iconic Needingworth and Peacock Liberty print. 

However, it isn't the sight of the box that hits you first. It is the warm, rich scent of the candle that draws you in. The scent is so strong that it escapes through the box and still manages to fill a room. 

I was actually given this candle as a present about 6 months ago but because it is so beautiful, I couldn't bare to remove it from the box. 

However, as we move into Autumn I thought it was time to part with the packaging and let the candle take pride of place on my dresser. As noted, Insolite is a warm scent, meaning it's much better suited to Autumn/Winter. According to the description by Liberty (which is obviously much more accurate than me trying to describe it) the scent is a rich blend of cardamon, clove, orange, juniper, white thyme... and a few other things! But for me, it is the clove that really comes through giving it a very Christmassy feel and although it is not mentioned in the description, I think there is a definite aroma of cinnamon when I burn it. 

As it's a Diptique candle, it burns very cleanly and evenly. Once blown out the scent lingers for a while and another plus is that the it does not burn quickly. It's my pet hate when you burn candles for a couple hours and they disappear. As this is quite pricey (£45) you would expect the wax to burn slowly and it definitely does.

Insolite would be the perfect comforting candle on a snowy winters evening... ahh it's almost worth the pain of a cold winter just to recreate the vision. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

London Fashion Haul

I was recently down in London volunteering at the 2014 Scottish Fashion Awards and had a few hours in the morning to shop... If you would like to see what I got up to at the awards then check out my post here. I also filmed a tutorial on the make-up I wore, check that out here

Anyway back to those 4 crucial hours I had before the awards. It felt like a mad rush but I was very happy with the pieces I picked up which included things from Topshop, & Other Stories, Banana Republic, Selfridges and Liberty. 

Hope you enjoy the haul and let me know in the comments which item is your favourite! 

Saturday, 13 September 2014


This week's fashion post is a clear sign that we are out of summer and into autumn. 

Although all the pieces are very simple and unembellished, I love the colour palette of khaki, black and deep burgundy red as we head into the colder months.

I also love the fit and simplicity of this jumper from Zara with the high neck and gold detailing on the cuff. The long sleeves also allow me to wear it without an jacket at the moment which is a bonus for me as I am still to find the perfect autumn coat...

The faux leather trousers (also from Zara) are my twist on the work trouser. I was looking for new trousers I could wear to the office but was bored of plain black and although I had always associated leather/faux leather trousers with the weekend or going out at night, I thought they would work for 9-5. 

Another true sign of autumn/winter is my Mulberry Del Rey bag as it only ever comes out at this time of year - simply because of its oxblood shade which fits in much easier with a colder wardrobe.

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite piece from this oufit is. 


Other details...

Shoes - Office
Necklace - Boutique in LA

Friday, 12 September 2014

New York Fashion Week SS15 - Top 5 Shows

Spring Summer 2015 has arrived and as always, the story begins in New York.

New York is usually my favourite of the 4 fashion week cities but this year it took me a little longer to get excited about the collections across the pond. However, a number of shows emerged triumphant... 


Alexander Wang 

So I have been looking for the perfect high waisted skinny black trouser that was suitable for both the office and dinner/drinks in the evening and finally I discover the perfect pair on the Alexander Wang runway. Bit of a bummer that they will more than likely be way out of my price range but on the other hand, the high street replicates most of the catwalk looks so I am hoping I see these trousers somewhere soon with a more affordable price tag attached...

From someone who dislikes sports clothing and would always rather dress like an boardroom power woman, I have to admit that this collection was genius. It combined sportswear with traditional office pieces and brought a little more comfort without compromising on any of the power. I may have just transitioned into sportswear...


Badgley Mischka

Badgley Mischka is a brand which I have not reviewed or paid too much attention to in the past but it is safe to say I will not be making that mistake twice. This was a stand out collection for me, with my favourite combination of maxi skirts and cropped tops being executed beautifully. The pieces were classic in shape but dripping in luxury and modernity with intricate bead work matched with zips and cropped jackets and traditional fishtail gowns being intertwined with sheer silk and petal appliqué. I just pray that Zara will copy and copy well.  


Vera Wang

Vera Wang is a true perfectionist when it comes to wedding dresses but there is another dress which she has now mastered - one which her customer will get a lot more use of - the LBD. Her SS15 show was overflowing with choice when it came to "the little black dress"and I saw myself in every single one, each time taking a mental note of where and when I would wear it. The collection may have been packed with LBDs but they were all very different and of course, very much needed. Wang cleverly designed an LBD for every occasion and for every women, no matter what age, shape and size - criteria which is mostly brushed aside in the world of high fashion. 


Oscar de la Renta

Delicate crochet, silk, feathers, sheer organza, crystals and pastels... Am I dreaming? This was Oscar de la Renta at his best. He is one of the very few designers who master the art of true red carpet glamour and manage to create pieces that transform women into the most beautiful versions of themselves. This was a jaw dropping collection, with the intricate detailing of belts, shoes and collars leaving me with an ache in the pit of my stomach... why don't I own these pieces... I need these pieces... now.


Elizabeth and James

Elizabeth and James is a brand that never disappoints and often features in my Wish Upon A... posts. Created by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, the twins work their magic to produce wearable and effortlessly chic designs every season. The SS15 collection sums up laid back New York style perfectly with sophisticated but casual pieces which can be worn everywhere from the office to the beach - the easiest and most versatile of wardrobes to choose from.

Photos from Vogue

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Easy Liner... No, It's Actually Really Easy

Winged liner. What can I say, it's no easy task. I only venture into using liquid and gel liners when I know I have a lot of time to do my make-up and I am feeling particularly patient...

The thing is with using liquid and gel liner is that sometimes it does work and looks great but unfortunately the same result cannot be guaranteed every time and when I'm running to get out the door in the morning I need something which is quick, easy, and is a certainty to work  - every time!

This is where Urban Decay Eyeshadow in the shade Blackout works its magic... In my list of hero products, this definitely ranks high.

Using powder to create a bold lash line and flick will save you a lot of time, energy and frustration. Although you may not get the same intensity if you were using gel or liquid, you can create the same shape and ultimately thicken and lengthen your top lash line. Using powder over liquid and gel also allows you to either keep it clean and simple or smudge it out into more of a smoky eye. Being able to build up the look adds to the versatility and means you can wear it from day to night by simply building on top of your daytime look and exaggerating the existing line.

However, when going down the powder route, you need to make sure you are using a good quality, long lasting shadow. For me there is only one shadow in the whole of the universe that I would use to do my liner with - Blackout by Urban Decay. For anyone who owns the Naked 2 Palette, you will already have this shade in your collection and if you do not have this palette then you can purchase it as a single shadow.

I initially came across Blackout from using my Naked 2 Palette but I recently purchased it in it's single form as I use it so much. I would definitely recommend getting the single pot, especially for travelling as carrying round a whole palette just for one colour is super annoying and impractical.

Not wanting to take my palette with me when I go travelling led to me experimenting with other black eyeshadows which only confined my love for this particular brand and shade as nothing else compared to it. Urban Decay shadows have the best pigment and longevity and do not crease or wear off.

To apply the shadow I use my Topshop liner brush and I simply go along my top lash line, pressing right into the root of the lashes to make sure there is no gap between my lashes and the line. If I want more of a dramatic look I can then go back in with the shadow and thicken the line and create a flick at the end.

My top tip would be to always tap your brush before creating the line - the shadow is super pigmented and can fall onto your cheek when applying it. I usually finish off with some brightening concealer to tidy up any free fall.

Let me know in the comments below if you try powder instead of liquid to do your liner and post your photos on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #GRNT so I can share the best ones!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Mulberry Envelope Wallet... It's An Essential


So I really needed a new purse. And purses for me are one of those items that should be given a little more time, care and attention when choosing which one to buy. I have bought very few purses in my lifetime, mainly because I like to invest and buy good quality purses that are going to last and not fall a part after a few days/weeks/months. 

If you take a moment to think, you use your purse a heck of a lot. I am constantly in and out of mine, taking out money, putting money in, pulling out credit cards, loyalty cards, ID, storing receipts and basically anything else that will fit. 

So with the justification over... I can happily reveal my most recent purchase - my Mulberry Envelope Wallet. 

I didn't intend to choose Mulberry but as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. I am very fussy when it comes to most things but especially so with purses. I don't like bulky purses but at the same time I really dislike small purses as I usually have a lot to fit in. The envelope style, for me, is the perfect solution - it is slimline but discreetly has 4 different compartments plus a section for cards.  

The design of the purse is very clever. The simple envelope theme really does resemble an envelope, with the use of a postman's lock to fasten it and subtle stitching to create the folds and sections of a traditional envelope. The theme carries on inside as turning the lock and lifting the flap you are greeted with the imitation of a letter. This takes the form of the first section of the purse which is branded with the Mulberry name and logo. 

The letter section hide the cards and notes behind it, keeping the purse looking clean and tidy. Coins have their own zipped section at the back of the purse, keeping them separate from the main section. 

The simple detailing in this purse allows it to be used for any occasion - on it's own if all you need is your purse or slotted into most bags, thanks to the slimline design. 

Purchasing a good quality item like a Mulberry purse really makes you notice the smallest details that you just wouldn't get with a high street purchase. For my it is the weight of the zipper and lock, the smooth opening and closing of the zip (it never sticks), the immaculate finish of the stitching, the soft touch and rich smell of the leather and it's overall flawless appearance. 

Although expensive, it was worth every penny as I know this purse will literally last me a lifetime and hopefully out live me so I can pass it onto someone else to enjoy. 

Made in Britain, Mulberry is an iconic brand, one that definitely should make us all proud to be British.