Friday, 25 April 2014

Shopaholic Star Buy: H&M Swing Top

Mooching around Selfridges, begrudgingly walking on past the queue of cashed-up people patiently waiting to get past the velvet rope and into Chanel, I found solace in H&M. I'd got a 25% off voucher with last month's Glamour, so thought I may as well spend it!

The very first thing to catch my eye was this cropped, crepe swing top with sweetheart neckline (£29.99), and needless to say reader, I bought it!

The well-cut, vintage style top doesn't at all scream 'high street', and its simplicity means it will work equally well dressed up with a skirt or dressed down with jeans. It's sure to become a staple this summer.

I thought maybe the H&M voucher I had wouldn't be valid in the Selfridges concession, but it was - and the staff were very helpful answering questions, finding items and offering styling tips to me and the fellow shoppers sheltering in Selfridges on what was a very wet evening in Oxford Street.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Beauty Review: Avon Limoncello Nail Enamel

I've found that by far the best, and easiest, way to brighten up your day is to add a little colour to your life - or just to your nails is fine. Avon's new Limoncello shade of gel finish nail enamel is like bottled sunshine - and it's been awarded 9 out of 10 by the Cosmo beauty team.

New out this month, I managed to get my hands on a bottle for the trial price of £3.50 rather than the usual £7 for 12ml. With the promise of a salon style gel finish for a fraction of the cost it would have been rude not to give it a go.

The best point about this product has to be the intense, glossy colour - the worst is that it did take 3 coats to achieve opaque coverage even though it is billed as base coat, protection, shine, colour and top coat all in one - but yellow is always one of those tricky shades. With some products 'guaranteeing' long-lasting results I only have to so much as glance at my nails for the polish to start flaking off, so I was curious how long Avon's gel polish would last. The answer? 2 days. Not bad when I'm constantly typing - tapping and bumping my nails as I go - but alas not quite as long as I'd dared to hope. That said, I would buy this product again. There are still lots more shades to try...

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Mulberry News We've Been Waiting For...

Given the choice of any luxury label my money's always on Mulberry, but recent price hikes have placed the covetable handbags well beyond the means of most but the super rich - that is until now. Yes, Mulberry are all set to slash their prices!

After pricing themselves out of the market by seeking to position the brand amongst the upper echelons of unobtainable luxury Mulberry's sales have unsurprisingly suffered, so this is their pragmatic move to boost the books. You can imagine my excitement when I heard they are going to make their bags more affordable, but don't expect bargain basement figures, or a cut in quality for that matter. The new range to be launched this summer will feature designs retailing at between £495 - £695. Now that's a lot easier to justify than the £1000+ price tags we've been seeing for styles like the Willow.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rose & Rose Meet Matisse

I make no secret of the fact that I love Rose & Rose scarves almost as much as love wandering around art galleries  - and with a new collection designed exclusively for the Tate my two loves have been combined.

Today sees the opening of Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs - an exhibition which runs at the Tate Modern until 7th September 2014 - and inspired by Henri Matisse's bold use of block colour, Rose & Rose have designed a collection of dip dyed scarves to be sold as official merchandise. Made from a blend of wool and silk they make for a very chic souvenir - a nice change from a bookmark or fridge magnet don't you think?

The scarves are available in green, orange and purple colourways but my favourite has to be the vivid cobalt blue scarf - reminiscent of Matisse's Blue Nude. Priced at just £35 it's a fraction of the cost of Rose & Rose's similar St. Tropez cashmere design which retails for £189.

Psst... Rose & Rose have lots more for us to look forward to next season. The Out of Africa themed A/W'14press show featured a whole host of tribal/animal print scarves and wraps - as well as handbags.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Copy Kate's Nautical but Nice Look

It's not just Cara Delevingne who loves Me+Em's laid back luxury - it looks like the Duchess of Cambridge is a fan too. A master of literal dressing, what else would we expect Kate wear to a yacht race than one of the brand's nautical striped tops? The classic cobalt blue and white cotton top comes in at £48, but any copy Kates who want to get their hands on this one had better move fast - the £79.99 Zara blazer she has also been spotted wearing during the royal tour of New Zealand has already sold out - no surprises there then. If Breton stripes aren't your bag there will be plenty more outfits to see yet with Australia still to visit. Have you got a favourite Kate look from the tour so far?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Japanese Jewellery

If there's one souvenir I always like to bring home from my travels it has to be a piece of jewellery. Whether it's ethnic beads, a Bedouin necklace or a hand-braided friendship bracelet, these are the kind of keepsakes that can reveal so much about another culture or country and can be carried with you wherever you go to remind you of past adventures. Jewellery designer Clizio Ornato obviously shares my philosophy. She calls her Letters from Japan collection 'ready-to-wear travel memories'. These origami earrings, postage stamp cuffs and japanned necklaces are guaranteed to get you dreaming of far off climes - and booking flights to the orient.

Clizio Ornato Letters from Japan collection available at Boticca

Japanese Necklace in "Yoake" Kimono Print, £102
Turquoise Origami Earrings, £46.50
Letters From Japan Cuff, £110
Silver "Yoake" Daybreak Ring in Kimono Print, £102

Friday, 4 April 2014

Shopaholic Star Buy: Matalan Boots

OK, so the shop shelves are filling up with an assortment of brightly coloured flip flops, espadrilles and jelly shoes all fighting for our attention but bide your time - there's still time for a final fling with some big old boots.

These patent Chelsea boots with heavy duty tread are just too good to miss. Walk on by and you'll regret it - especially when you see the price.

Patent Chelsea Boots, £24 Matalan

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Terra Macs Make a Splash

You definitely won't dread the onslaught those inevitable April showers when you see the raincoats Terra New York have in store. In fact they're so stylish you'll be praying for rain so you can show off one of these macs! The Centre Trench Coat ($465) and Lafayette Cape ($385) pictured below are just two of my favourite designs.

Constructed from transparent Polyurethane with heat-sealed seams, they won't let a single drop of water in. At Terra they really have thought of everything possible to stop a spot of rain spoiling your day - the chic polka dot lining can even be removed so you can  make sure everyone still sees your new spring wardrobe underneath come rain or shine.

See, it's not too soon to start buying summer dresses after all...