Monday, 30 April 2012

We need to talk about denim.

Denim shorts to be precise ...and lots of them. I have become mildly obsessed with the humble vintage Levi 501’s and I cant imagine my wardrobe without them. Dressed up for a night out, dressed down for a mooch around the shops the simple denim short adds so much to my wardrobe. 

This pair are just your bog standard 501 shorts, they’re from the Rokit store in Brick Lane and think they cost me around 20 quid. 

The next two pairs are by a brand called Blue Rinse, who are based in Leeds and have shops in Leeds and Manchester and concessions in the Miss Selfridge stores there as well. I thought I’d let my *ahem* DIY skills loose on them and stud them. The first pair I used rounded studs and the second I used pyramid studs and I absolutely love them!

Next up is this beaut lilac acid wash pair from Urban Outfitters, I spent far far too much money on them but you get student discount and obviously that’s my way with justifying spending shit loads of money in there! 

This pair are from Topshop and after considering whether I could recreate them myself I realised studding is one thing, learning to crochet is a whole new level and my DIY skills simply aren’t up to scratch.

Next up are another Urban Outfitters pair but these are Bitching and Junkfood and were in the sale. The studs are slightly lethal but these cuties are perfect in winter with black tights and boots to toughen up a floral blouse and hey presto a perfect winter outfit. 

So there we have it, the humble denim short... a true wardrobe staple. 

Kathryn x

These beauts are in the process of being made eeee (well I’m going to attempt to make)...

I have wanted them for so.long but simply cannot justify spending £65(!!!!!) on them. So am going to have to make do with 1m of pleather, scissors and my extremely questionable sewing skills. Me, obsessed?! Never.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


So I go to uni in Manchester, the rainiest place IN THE WORLD. So obviously it makes perfect sense for me to buy a Hawaiian shirt. Yes I know its ridiculous but I couldn't help myself, Urban Outfitters lured me in with there blooming 20% off code thing last week. Whenever I get emailed these codes my head doesn't do the rational thing of ‘Well Kathryn you still have to pay 80 percent, thats still a lot of money’ instead my brain thinks ‘MUST BUY, ITS PRACTICALLY FREE’ and I turn into this crazy shopping fiend. So this little number is from a very special man in my life called Mr Overdraft and boy am I grateful for him.

However it’s not just me and overweight ‘socks and sandals' wearing tourists rocking the Hawaiian shirt. Stella McCartney’s Hawaiian themed 2012 Resort collection was full of tropical prints with clothes that could have looked more appropriate at the beach rather than the catwalk. If it’s good enough for Stella McCartney then it’s good enough for me and I feel Stella’s pretty good company. Topshop have also recently teamed up with Maarten Van Der Horst a Dutch new kid on the block to create a collection full of tropical shirts, jackets and erm cycling shorts... jurys out on tropical print cycling shorts.

At the minute I’m pairing mine with vintage levi’s and lots of gold jewellery but I actually think this will look sick over a black bikini on the beach this summer.

Right so I’m off to look ridiculous as I rock a Hawaiian shirt in the pissing rain. Will I stick out like a soar thumb yes yes I will... wish me luck!

Kathryn x

P.S Am I the only person slightly obsessed with Pinterest. literally the best procrastination tool ever invented! 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Clutch Loving.

I couldn't help myself in London yesterday, my spending ban just went right out the window and I picked up these two beauties. I won't lie I'm not particularly a bag person however I was given the beaut Mulberry Alexa for my birthday last year and I have literally used it everyday since. However when I go out I have a few crappy old things I simply make do with. So I decided I needed more statement bags that make people go 'wow' rather than just bland bleaughh bags. So when I walked into Zara on Oxford Street yesterday I was in heaven (I apologise yet again for my Zara obsession, I have a genuine problem, I just love their clothes too much!), what surrounded me was a collection of embellished clutches that I knew had to find their way into my wardrobe. 

First off is this little number. I'm a sucker for any form of aztec print and this is a very subtle but beautiful hint towards aztec. I have never seen anything like it and it's perfect to make an LBD on a night out a little more interesting. I love the mix of colours as I would never be brave enough to wear such a vibrant orange.

Secondly I bought this less striking but no less beautiful clutch. It being slightly bigger than the first bag I can see myself using it not just in the evening but during the day too with a simple white dress, gladiators and a tan or with denim shorts and a floral blouse. It has an almost boho feel to it and could definitely imagine Sienna Millar with it! 

So those are the two beauties I bought yesterday however there is a gorgeous turquoise, pearl embellished one which is very Chanel Spring/ Summer 2012 that I will be getting my mitts on it as soon as my student loan comes through!

Kathryn x

Friday, 13 April 2012

Button Up.

I took a cheeky trip to London today, I'm skint and technically on a shopping ban so I only bought a few bits and bobs. I have previously spoken about my love of a good ol’ buttoned up studded collar in my last post, its smart whilst remaining edgy and makes a plain shirt look a bit more on trend. As beautiful as my Zara babies are, I thought I’d try the buttoned up shirt with some different collar accessories to jazz them up.

Firstly I thought I’d try collar tips and I found this beauty today in, you guessed it, Zara (I promise I shop at other places but I cannot physically help myself, all their clothes are right up my street). It ticks the pastel box for Spring/Summer 2012 but I think the collar tips are just adorable so much so I had to briefly forget about my spending ban. 

Secondly I thought why not try the choker style collar necklaces which seem to be filling high street shops at the minute. Their beauty is in their simplicity as they can work on a variety of shirts from plain or patterned to long sleeve or short sleeve shirts. This one is from H and M for a mere £6.99 and adds an instant update to a simple button up shirt. At such a barginous price I couldn't say no. This shirt is from yonks ago from New Look but the collar necklace makes it instantly 'now'.


So button up ladies and jazz up your collars!

Kathryn x

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Clever Collars.

Oh Zara, how I love you. You just produce beauty after beauty which my bank statement despises you for yet I just need to have. No truer words can be said after I found this little beauty in Zara in Manchester a few weeks ago: white - check, chiffon - check, oversized - check, studded collar DOUBLE CHECK. Studded collars have long been an obsession of mine and this ticks all the boxes. Worn with denim shorts and a leather jacket to spice up an otherwise plain outfit or worn with bodycon and heels for dinner and drinks, I can tell it will be worn to death.

Funnily enough last autumn I bought an extremely similar studded collared shirt from Zara but this time in black which I have hardy had off my back all Autumn/Winter.

A studded collar detail adds a little edge to something which could be plain and a bit too simple. I am loving mine so much I have ordered some studs off eBay to try some cheeky DIY to make my own so watch this space ...

Kathryn x 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Everyday maquillage.

WARNING!!! Your going to need to prepare yourselves this may be quite an extensive write up. I didn't want to just tell you what I use but why as well... I see why make up reviews work so well on youtube as its hard to make them concise. But there is no way this mug will be on youtube any time soon soo this will have to do!

My everyday make up is an odd one as it is primarily dictated by my budget. Pre-uni, when I had a job I wouldn't think twice about buying some ridiculously priced foundation/mascara/lipgloss as I didn't go out half as much and didn't have to pay for stuff like food. However, from September when I entered  the world of the skint student my make-up budget has been cut dramatically. So what you see here is sort of what I wear now however I will throw in what I do prefer to buy when I have the money.

For me I tend to find something I love and just use it everyday, I don’t like going too far out my comfort zone make up wise purely because make up is so expensive and if I were to buy a 30 pound foundation and not used it I would be hating my life.

First off is what I wear as base make up...

Strobe cream is my not so secret weapon to make my dull skin look slightly more radient. It gives a dewy, youthful finish on the skin when mixed with foundation. What I love about it is it doesn't make your face look like a disco ball but adds a pearly, iridescence. 

I have normal erring on dry skin and I find it really hard to find a foundation which gives me a sort of dewy glow as often foundation just clings to my dry areas and I look like a cakey mess. MAC's Studio Sculpt Foundation gives a dewy finish that doesn't cling in any way to my dry areas, that combined with the fact it’s extremely full coverage means it’s perfect for me. At £23 pounds its not cheap, however its so thick I do find you only need a small amount whereas with drugstore foundations such as Max Factor I literally go through 1 a month so it actually works out cheaper for me. I still can't bring myself to spend £30 on say NARS or Chanel purely because I do not have that sort of money however would love to try them so maybe for a birthday pressie! I also always have two foundations one in my natural pale shade NW15 and one in my tanned colour NW35 which I mix together to achieve the varying colours I go when I'm fake tanning.  

Concealer wise, I have got to go with Collection 2000 (not pictured here) for under-eye dark circles, its a total bargin and I feel because it’s very light and very much a fluid it doesn't cling unflatteringly under my eyes. This brings me on to my other concealer I use more for spots and random breakouts, Studio Fix Concealer by MAC which is AMAZING for covering spots however under-eye I swear it makes me look like I have random creases and at 18 that is not the one.

Powder again is MAC, it is their Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in medium, it provides me with coverage, doesn't look cakey and prevents shine on my forehead. What makes it better is how long it last, this bad boy was bought in July 2011 and is only just about to run out. Thats my argument when it comes to spending money on higher end brands as they just last so much longer than their drug store equivalent.

Now onto the cheeks...

As a tan addict where blush fails, bronzer wins. When I had money it was NARS Laguna (It has run out so only the packaging is pictured) every time but I wear that much of the stuff that it goes, I kid you not, within 4-6 weeks which is SHOCKING considering I spent a good 24 quid of the thing. But it’s an addiction, it’s the perfect brown that can be built up when wearing fake tan yet a subtle sweeping looks just as good when I'm embracing the pale side. However realistically I can't afford it anymore so I always always have a Benefit Hoola on standby for when my beloved Laguna runs out. This stuff, unlike laguna, lasts so long: I’m talking over a year which is brilliant for a tanorexic like myself. However I do find it has a slight grey look to it, and when a lot has been applied I think it can tend to look grubby whereas Laguna is a true brown. For an added bit of shimmer when using Hoola I use MAC's Gold Deposit Mineralize Skinfinish.  

Blusher is a rare occurrence for me, but I’d say it's generally a toss up between MAC Peachykeen and NARS Orgasm. 

Highlight has got to be Benefit Highbeam, subtle but makes such a difference to my face. I had a brief fling with NARS Albatross but gave it to a friend as it’s a powder and just looked a bit cakey. MAC Pearl Cream Base is also worth a whirl but it doesn't last, however for an instant effect it is gorgeous and gives a beautiful dewy look.

Finally onto my eyes and lips ...

Mascara is dictated by my budget as well. I have the shortest stubbiest eyelashes in the world, literally practically non existant. So for me finding a decent mascara has been a life long dream. My favourite is Lancome Hypnose however at 20 quid a pop I physically can’t bring myself to buy it on a student budget especially as it dries up extremely quickly however I do think it is amazing. So a more student friendly option is L'oreal Telescopic, which I do actually really like and at about half the price of Hypnose I do think you get not that far off the quality so it’s a winner. 

Eyeliner rarely features heavily in my everyday make up, but I do like MAC Smoulder but it does end up quite far down my face by the end of the day but the intensity of the colour is brilliant. So I recently have tried Lancome Black Khol Liner which is a much harder consistency but it's great during the day as it doesn't budge. I do love Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner as it lasts all day however I find it a bit of a faff as I have to use a brush like the MAC 208. So recently I bought this gorgeous eyeliner pen and it is honestly so long wearing and easy to use. It’s by a brand exclusive to Liberty called Hourglass and the quality of their products is amazing, I have their eyeshadows which I wear in the evening and the pigmentation is stunning.

For the day I like to keep it simple in terms of eyeshadow, if I’m looking for a more taupey look I try either one of the colours from my NARS Kalahari duo or MAC’s satin taupe. If I’m looking for a brown or gold I head straight to my Naked palette. I actually have had 2 naked palettes in my time, I lost one on a very drunken night out (do not ask me WHY I felt the need to take out a whole eye shadow palette but apparently in my drunken state I thought it was a genius idea and anyway I ended up dropping my bag and said goodbye to my naked palette... soul destroying). Anyway it’s a testament to the Urban Decay Naked Palette that I decided to shell out another *gulp* £36 quid on a new one however when we put it in terms of MAC, the 12 shades in the palette would come to well over £120 so value for money is great! 

Eyeshadow base has got to be Urban Decay primer potion, it prevents creases and makes my eyeshadow last all day and the colour pop. I did used to love MAC’s Paintpots however they dry out far to quickly for my liking.

I'm all about the nude lip. Myth by MAC is always my number one nude however when I inevitably loose it on a night out GOSH do a very similar shade which I do love. Teamed with MAC Florabundance however Collection 2000 do a killer lipgloss for £2.99 in their Lock N Hold range. It gives a similar look, just doesn't last as long but when I loose on average one a week it makes the pain of loosing it much less.
So there we have it my favourite everyday make up!

Kathryn x 

All Coupled Up.

So for just over a year I have been suffering some serious label lust, the label at the heart of my obsession is The Kooples. The french brand is created by the three sons of the creators of Comptoir des Cotonniers and the brothers themselves have now created a label full of smart tailoring with a rock and roll edge which is inherently cool.

You may have seen the advertising campaigns plastered across taxi’s in London and Paris and it is these advertising campaigns that really make The Kooples stand out and have phenomenal success across Europe. The brand use real life couples to model their clothes however we’re not talking average couples you see walking around the local shopping center on a Saturday. These pairs are breathtakingly beautiful and are pretty much all models, musicians, actors, dj's or something equally cool. The brand has perfectly hit on the consumers subconscious, who wouldn’t want to be part of an uber beautiful uber stylish Koople? ‘Buy our clothes and you can be’.

There is a definite unisex element to their collections but not in the same way as say Americal Apparel. It plays on a couple borrowing each others blazers or slouchy tee’s resulting in a partly androgynous collection erring on masculine. However at the same time subtle feminine touches are added to their womenswear in the form of skull lace and scalloped edges. Their tailoring is created in London’s famous Saville Row resulting in extremely high quality pieces.  

Price wise, The Kooples most definitely is not high street however it is not ultra high end either. The price point is around that of other Parisian labels such as Sandro or Maje meaning the clothes don’t come cheap however their clothes are extremely wearable meaning you get your moneys worth especially considering the high quality of the garments. 

I have only a few items from The Kooples because as a student it is well and truly out of my budget however 2 items I got for christmas presents and actually the sale prices are pretty brilliant. This long sleeved top was 40% off in a store in Nice in France making it around 45 quid! The next two items were decidedly more pricey however I have worn both pieces to death. The skull lace of this top is absolutely gorge and has been brought in this season in pastel shades which is definitely on my birthday list. But my ultimate buy from there has got to be this amazing leather jacket which I have worn every single day since I received it for christmas, it looks amazing with vintage levi shorts and a tee during the day or paired with an lbd for dinner and drinks.

And I’m not the only one seriously loving The Kooples from TV presenters like Caroline Flack to A-listers like Rachel Bilson, the Kooples has a serious celeb following. The oh so stylish girls of Made in Chelsea are often spotted wearing pieces looking sexy and stylish but over everything just looking ridiculously cool.

Up in Manchester we are lucky enough to have a Kooples stand alone store and both Selfridges and House of Fraser stock concessions so after uni, I tend to spend far too much time having a nose at the collection. Also if the clothes aren’t enough of an incentive to have a look, the staff too tend to be ahem rather easy on the eye, ie they are ridiculously

Kathryn x

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