Sunday, 31 October 2010

Cheryl v Dannii: The Fangs are Out

It was Halloween week on X Factor and even the judges got into the spirit of things (sorry, couldn't resist that one). Simon donned some fangs especially for the occasion, although he is never afraid to bite back with a snide comment or two - fangs or no fangs. The incessant bickering on the show has been getting most of the press attention lately, so let's focus on the fashion...

I'm sorry Cheryl, but Dannii wins hands down in the style department. I wasn't keen on Cheryl's choice of Jonathan Saunders dress with mesh yoke - which looked more like a string vest, whilst Dannii unleashed the vamp in a ruffled red Marchesa number. Well, red has been proven as the colour to turn heads in a report published this week.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Trick or Treat? Barry M Instant Nail Effects

As it's Halloween weekend I thought I'd share a little make-up treat with you! I love trying out new nail polishes, so when I saw Barry M's Instant Nail Effects on PrimpandPreen (fab beauty blog) I had to get hold of some myself. It is a bit like gold dust at the moment - but I managed to find some in only the second branch of Superdrug I tried. Simply apply the base colour of your choice, leave to dry, then layer with a coat of the black Nail Effects paint - which magically cracks before your very eyes. It's a great party trick. The thicker you apply it, the larger the pattern - so have a play around. Seeing as though it's Halloween, I've gone for an orange and black combo (my rings are from Past Times btw - I love there Art Deco jewellery range).

Complete the look with lashings of back eyeliner, a slick of black lippy and your good to go.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Because we all Love a Good SalesGossip...

I admit it - I am one of those annoying people who always gets to the sale first and grabs all the good stuff. If I needed further confirmation, just the other day I overheard a woman turn to her friend and mutter a few choice words about how annoyed she was that I had found a gem amongst the rubbish that wouldn't sell even with a 70% reduction. But I'm a nice person really - so I'm going to let you into a secret so you never miss out on a bargain again...

SalesGossip is a new website that tracks all of the sales going on in the capital. All you have to do is sign yourself up to receive FREE e-mail or text alerts. Although the service is primarily focused on London, many of the stores listed are national chains - so don't let that put you off. Plus, a link to the online store is usually provided. All sales are displayed on a handy timeline - so you can see when they are due to start and finish before you plan your next shopping trip. It's a genius idea. Make sure you sign up now so you catch all those mid-season sales that are popping up all over the place at the moment.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Wedding Daze

Over the weekend I went to a wedding fair with lovely blushing brides to be Lucy and Roz. I never truly appreciated before this just how many things have to be organized in preparation for the big day - and how many choices to be made. Oh, the choices! It's a good job it's not me getting married, as I'm hardly the most decisive person.

For most brides, finding that perfect dress has to be pretty near the top of their list of priorities (who am I kidding, it's right up there at the top perched on a pedestal surrounded by doves). This is one choice you have to get right (along with the choice of groom), and there is more choice out there than you might expect. If you think when you've seen one wedding dress then you've seen them all, think again. During the fashion show we all struggled to hold back the hysterics - I don't mean a fit of uncontrollable excitement over a parade of unbelievably beautiful dresses. No, it was more like bemusement over who would want to get married in lime green crystal encrusted tulle. Then there were some cringe-worthy dance moves and a finale set to the Doctor Who theme music. In a word, bizarre.

A wedding dress shouldn't be one size fits all. All women have a different personal style that their dress should reflect, not to mention different body shapes. But wanting something different doesn't have to mean out of this world crazy, or a total abandonment of tradition.

This beautiful Annette Carey design has to be one of my all time favourites.

A romantic Jenny Packham design, perfect for a willowy boho bride.

Short and sweet - this Oscar de la Renta number is great for a petite frame and encapsulates the whole ladylike trend.

Channel the 1950s in an Ian Stuart prom dress - perfect for lovers of all things retro.

Contemporary embellishment by Jenny Packham.I love how the long necklaces draw the eye down, lengthening the body.

Grecian goddess by Amanda Wakeley.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Cheryl v Dannii: In Knots

I love a Little Black Dress as much as the next girl, but it was a welcome change to see a much needed burst of colour on show this Saturday.
Dannii sported another stunning Victoria Beckham design - this time a royal blue fitted number with knotted shoulder detail. I also loved Cheryl's choice of a nude HMH couture gown with twist knot front, although I'm not sure that the pale pink hue particularly complimented her skin tone and hair colour.
It was not just the colour of the dresses that caught my attention - as Cheryl seemed to have been sharing out her hair dye amongst the girls in her category. Rebecca, Treyc and Cher all had a red tint to their hair which was more than a little bit reminiscent of their mentor - or maybe they were just mourning the loss of Storm Lee in last week's vote.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Gossip Girl @ Miss Selfridge

The second collection of Gossip Girl inspired dresses (and a jumpsuit) has arrived at Miss Selfridge. Sadly, there are only four pieces to choose from - although this is probably somewhat of a blessing for the old bank balance! This time around they haven't assigned the styles as being uniquely Blair, Serena, Jenny or Vanessa, but have gone for more of a general GG vibe. I think they have missed a trick there, as everyone has there fav character look. It's also a shame that the collection is a bit heavy on the black, but there is some great embellishment - perfect for the party season. Prices range from £50-£60.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

And the Winner is...

The very first Confessions of a Shopaholic giveaway has now closed.

The names of all my followers were put into a hat so that a winner could be randomly selected - and that lucky winner is Jo Halsey.

Congratulations to Jo - you've won £15 to spend at I'll be in touch with your voucher code.


Sunday, 17 October 2010

Cheryl v Dannii: Red Hot!

Week 2 of the live shows and Cheryl shocked us all with a hot new hair do! I love this mahogany shade and have been toying with the idea of dying my hair this colour for some time. But I have to say lose the extensions Cheryl!

Despite the new look Cheryl failed to wow in a black Azarro jumpsuit - but it would have been difficult for anyone to outshine Dannii this week. She looked oh so elegant in what has to be one of my favourite Victoria Beckham designs. Mrs Beckham herself wore the one shoulder nude dress to an Oscars party back in February - now Dannii has joined the ever increasing line of glamorous celebs to don one of the former Spice Girl's creations. I could say a whole lot more about VB - but I'll save it for another post.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Luxe Leather

Leather may usually be something we associate with rock chicks and bikers - but it's time to think again; leather has gone luxe. Christopher Kane's A/W '10 collection combining hard leather with feminine touches of lace and floral embroidery perfectly defines the concept of luxe leather. The look is sophisticated, pretty even - definitely not trashy.

These are pieces that are smart enough for the office, chic enough for the cocktail bar, yet still simple enough for everyday - all be it with a little extra glamour. All your wardrobe staples have been reinvented in leather, so we're not just talking about the ubiquitous leather jacket, but t-shirts, shorts, skirts, dresses and trousers. Invest in a pair of skinny leather trousers this Autumn and you won't regret it. Judging by Burberry Prorsum's collection you'll be ahead of the fashion pack ready for SS '11. The only problem is that leather trousers always put me in mind of that episode of Friends where Ross wears some to impress his date... only to find that he can't pull them back up when he has gone to the bathroom!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Brown Really is the New Black!

I know, I've posted about neutral tones and the wonder that is Chloe's A/W '10 collection before - but I couldn't help but share some of the best pieces to be found out on the Great British High Street. Camel is, as predicted, a huge hit this Autumn - and looks great when layered with shades from oatmeal through to rust and chocolate brown. Whether you're after smart tailoring or slouchy knits (or both), Topshop and Next are definitely the places to go for affordable bits and bobs to spruce up your Winter wardrobe - who can turn down a beret for £8? I certainly can't. Despite having an extensive collection, a camel beret seems like the perfect way to top-off this look.

Topshop Look Book

Next Look Book

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Aviator

The coat of the season - only £25 from H&M!

Cheryl v Dannii: The Lace Wars

Week one of the live shows and Simon told us to 'embrace the madness' - but sadly the outfits weren't the showstoppers that I had been hoping for. Both Cheryl and Dannii went for lace on the night - with Dannii wearing a white lace shift with peaked shoulders by J'Aton Couture, and Cheryl showing off those fab pins in a Daniel Vosovic asymmetric black mini dress with lace trim. I think Dannii has to be my winner this week because I like the mix of contemporary shape with traditional fabric, although I wasn't too keen on the length. Had this dress been a floor length gown it would have looked amazing - especially if the lower half of the skirt was left sheer.

Image from

Monday, 4 October 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway!

If you've not checked out CSN Stores online, now is definitely the time to do it! From cookware and lighting to wardrobes to store all those clothes you've been hoarding, CSN Stores cater for all your household needs. Plus, you'll find the top brands you love and trust!

Become a follower of Confessions of a Shopaholic and you're in with a chance of winning a £15 voucher to spend at CSN Stores. Yes, it really is as easy as that! If you are already one of my lovely followers you can just sit pretty - but don't forget to spread the word to all your friends!

Due to shipping restrictions I'm afraid the giveaway is only open to residents of the UK, US, Canada and Germany. A winner will be randomly selected from all eligible followers on Monday 18th October 2010. In the meantime get yourself over to,, or to lust over all the fab things on offer. Here are a few of my favourites to whet your appetite ...

Add a touch of opulence to your boudoir with a georgeous Domitalia Premium armchair and Shimmer chandelier. Or be the hostess with the mostest by using KitchenCraft mini silicon cases to bake some adorable heart shaped cup cakes, which can be displayed to full effect on a V&A design two-tier stand.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

X Factor: Cheryl v Dannii

Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue made a welcome return to prime-time Saturday night TV last night, as X Factor reached the judges houses.

Dannii looked amazing in a long Grecian dress from her Project D range, not to mention that she really does have the hair-do that just keeps on giving - this time appearing with sun-kissed blonde highlights.

Cheryl went for a more casual look - sporting stone coloured skinnies and biker jacket. But at this stage of the competition it is Sinitta who usually causes a stir. Who could forget last year's banana leaf bikini? This time she went for an equally daring combination of silver swimsuit and OTK boots which were so far over the knee that they could have been galoshes! The whole look put me in mind of Wonder Woman.

Look out for a weekly post after the live show as the style wars commence!

Images from

Friday, 1 October 2010

The Most Stylish Woman of 2010?

It's official - readers have voted Emma Watson as their most stylish Brit, leaving Victoria Beckham in second place - in an illustrious top 10 that included Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Cheryl Cole. There's no doubt that Emma's got her red carpet look nailed. Whenever she makes a public appearance she has got a stunning dress fit for the occasion. Christopher Bailey can be credited with transforming the schoolgirl swat of the Harry Potter films in to the style icon we see today, thanks to her casting as the face of Burberry. Plus she has recently upped her style stakes further by going for a Carey Mulligan-style elfin crop.

However, it is her off-duty sense of style I'm not so sure about. She hit all the right notes at Glastonbury this Summer - when she was papped in a Louis Vuitton corset and the obligotory denim cut-offs. Yet at other times she's been spotted in a less than flattering combo of Ugg boots and tracky bottoms. Although she wouldn't top my list, she is definately one to watch.