I love the changing seasons and the new fashions that they bring.
For my overseas readers -GOOGLE TRANSLATE:


Wednesday 6 December 2017


In my last post, "Dark Florals for Autumn at H&M",  I wrote about my dark floral print blouse and mentioned that I would be looking for a little black skirt to wear with it.

I have now found the perfect little black skirt at H&M.  Made in black velvet, it is in a  "jeans style".  There are studded front pockets, 2 back pockets and belt loops at the waistline.

H&M Black Velvet Skirt

H&M Black Velvet Skirt, Back Pockets View

This is going to be such a very useful little skirt for all occasions, to wear with many different tops or just a plain black jumper.

I was even able to take advantage of one of H&M's promotional discounts.  It's worth joining the H&M Club too, earn points as you buy that lead to reward discounts.  All good stuff in current economic circumstances! 

Now I need the black suede boots!!!

Thursday 16 November 2017


Each Autumn, H&M present a limited collection in collaboration with a well known designer. Recently, there was great excitement when they launched their Erdem x H&M collaboration.

ERDEM x H&M Collaboration

Erdem was a very fitting choice of designer for the Autumn collaboration, given the trend for dark floral prints this season. The collection included both clothes and accessories for women and men. By the time I arrived, the floral printed dresses had disappeared rapidly from the rails but amongst the remaining pieces, there were some attractive printed silk scarves and strappy, strass-trimmed, kitten heeled shoes still on display.

I myself have now bought a dark floral print blouse from H&M Divided, (see below).

Dark Floral Blouse from H&M

The blouse came from a small limited collection of pieces within the Divided range, which are only available at some H&M stores. These pieces are usually a little more expensive and dressier than the usual Divided clothes and are ideal for special occasions.  Made in a sheer woven chiffon-type of material with a red rose print on a black background, the blouse has a tie neck with a little frill and again ties at the wrists with a frill.

Neckline Detail
Wrist Detail

Whilst I can often wear the blouse with black jeans, I shall also dress it up with a little black skirt and complete the look with black tights,  black suede sock boots, earrings (with pearl and diamante perhaps) and dark, dark lipstick.

It's time to look for the perfect skirt and boots!

Thursday 19 October 2017


It's mid-October and we are truly into Autumn now.

The weather's been mild and recently I was distracted by Paris Fashion Week and the Spring/Summer 2018 collections.  I did love the water inspired theme at CHANEL.  Against a background of waterfalls and trees, Karl Lagerfeld presented some really pretty Spring/Summer clothes, protected from the wet environment by hats, little capes and thigh high boots, all made of transparent plastic.  Glass and pearl jewellery, especially those waterdrop earrings, completed the beautiful, glistening effect.

The LOUIS VUITTON collection was my other favourite.  A seventeenth-century dungeon was the setting for a surprising theme that teamed modern streetwear (nylon boxer shorts and sneakers) with eighteenth-century style men's brocade jackets.  I thought it worked very well!

Now it's back to Autumn and I did manage to do a thorough wardrobe edit.  I've begun to think about some new season's pieces and added a few basic updates:

  • a black short jumper in a fine-knit viscose blend with ribbed neckline, cuffs and hem, from H&M's Divided range

Black Fine-Knit Jumper from H&M

  • a sheer black sleeveless shirt in a polyester fabric, with a collar, buttons down the front and a yoke with a pleat at the back, also from H&M's Divided range

Black Sheer Sleeveless Shirt from H&M
Sleeveless Shirt - Back

  • a new box-fresh pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Black Mono Canvas trainers, from Office Shoes, so perfectly vintage and classic

Black Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

  • for Autumn sunlight - aviator style sunglasses with metal frames and uv-protective tinted rose gold lenses, from H&M.

H&M Aviator Style Sunglasses

What's next on the list? I'm thinking dark floral and some new boots - maybe trendy sock boots/kitten heels/black suede or satin?

Tuesday 12 September 2017


September seemed to come round so fast. It's time to think about Autumn and makeup is always a gentle way to ease into the mood of a new season. Lucia Pica's new Autumn/Winter 2017 makeup collection for CHANEL is called "Travel Diary" and was inspired by her road trip to the Californian coast. 

The warm, sunny West Coast of America may not sound like an obvious theme for an Autumn makeup collection but colours reflecting the ocean, the Californian skies and sunsets, the sandy beaches and the city lights have actually created a beautiful autumnal palette.  Dark blues and greens and sandy or pink tinged bronzes for eyes combine with orangey reds, wine or peachey pinks for lips. 

As with their Coco Codes Spring 2017 makeup collection, CHANEL give the option of creating a personal look which can be either dramatic or subtle.  On their website, they feature two very good tutorials demonstrating how to use the new products and shades in these two different ways.  

For me personally, I wanted to achieve a more subtle effect and I was most interested in new eye makeup at the moment. Impressed by the "subtle" tutorial, I bought LES 4 OMBRES Multi-effect Quadra Eyeshadow in CITY LIGHTS (286), a black lacquered palette with a mirror, containing 4 lovely eyeshadows, (soft pale pink, rosy bronze-brown, bronzy taupe and a deep plummy brown, all with a sheen), as in the photograph below:-

I followed the tutorial and applied the pink (top right) below the brow, the rosy bronze (top left) to the eyelid, the bronzy taupe (bottom right) in the socket and the deep plummy brown (bottom left) around the eye close to both the upper and lower lashes to define the eyes. I found these eyeshadows easy to apply with their soft, creamy texture and I was really pleased with the result.  A diagram was enclosed with the palette showing how to do this look - please see the photograph below:-

The tutorial also featured the new STYLO SOURCILS WATERPROOF Defining Longwear Eyebrow Pencil.  

Double-ended, STYLO SOURCILS WATERPROOF has a retractable tapered tip pencil at one end and spiral brush for grooming at the other. The pencil is designed so that the side of the tip can be used to define the line and then the flat side is for filling in and intensifying the colour. Using little strokes, a natural or more intense effect can be achieved. Then, the spiral brush can be used for blending the colour. There are 6 good shades to choose from, varying from lighter browns to dark brown, auburn and black:-

806 Blond Tendre
804 Blond Doré
808 Brun Clair
810 Brun Profond
802 Auburn
812 Ebène

I wanted a natural look and finally chose BLOND TENDRE (806), which is actually a subtle light brown shade and blended in well with my eyebrows.

For now, this is about eyes but I will mention my favourite lipsticks from the TRAVEL DIARY collection:

ROUGE ALLURE VELVET Luminous Matte Lip Colour in NIGHTFALL (63), a wine shade that goes really well with my CITY LIGHTS eyeshadows;
ROUGE COCO Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in EXPÉRIMENTAL (472), a bright orangey red;
ROUGE ALLURE INK Matte Liquid Lip Colour in HIGHWAY (158), a peachy pink.

Friday 11 August 2017


There are so many facial skincare products on the market now in the form of  creams, lotions, gels and serums.  They all purport to do marvellous things like moisturise, firm and lift, fight ageing and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It is true to say that some of these products are very sophisticated and often they do make a difference.  A good moisturiser can soften, smooth and plump out the skin, resulting in a glowing, healthy and more youthful appearance and some makeup products are almost like a temporary mini-botox treatment!

The only thing is that these generally contain chemicals and animal products, which are not always suitable for those who suffer from allergies.  Then there are people who are simply uneasy and wary about applying these ingredients to their skin.  In recent years, the market for hypoallergenic and "free-from" (and often vegan) skincare and cosmetics has grown and there are now some good brands offering these products.

At my recent visit to the Allergy & Free From Show, I visited the Neals Yard Remedies stand. Their skincare products are all made from natural, organic ingredients and are free from chemicals.  I came away with some little sample sachets of skincare products to review.  As these were small samples, each lasting for a few days, I can only really comment on their short-term performance and not on any benefits of ongoing use over a longer period.

I began with Frankincense Hydrating Cream.  This moisturising cream is intended for all skin types and contains jojoba and almond oils, aloe vera and frankincense and myrrh oils.

As I applied the cream, the first thing I noticed was the unusual smell.  Initially, it was like I was walking through the woods but then it mellowed into that pleasant scent of incense burning in a church.  My skin instantly felt and looked moisturised, smooth and plumped. I found this to be a delicious and rich cream but if used in the long term, I think it might be most suited to skins that require quite a high degree of nourishment. For me personally, it would be lovely as a "remedy" or treatment sometimes when needed.
Price: £30/50g

Next, I went on to try White Tea Toning Eye Gel. Recommended for all skin types, it contains antioxidant White Tea and is intended for use on the delicate area around the eyes to firm and improve the appearance of dark circles.

As I do have dark circles under my eyes, I applied the gel gently with my fingertips as suggested. Certainly the gel did give a refreshing, cooling and soothing feeling and I think it reduced any puffiness.  It didn't really dispel the dark shadows but, to be fair, I only used it for a few days.  Possibly, longer use may have had more effect although, in truth, I think coverage with cosmetics is the only real answer here for me!
Price: £24/10ml

Purifying Palmarosa Mattifier is a serum containing purifying organic palmarosa and mattifying kaolin clay, designed to balance oils for oily, combination and blemish prone skin.

My own skin is quite mature and not normally oily but almost as if by coincidence, there happened to be a blemish on my forehead.  After cleansing, I carefully massaged the serum into the blemished patch with my fingertips.  It had a fresh, lemony smell and afterwards the area felt like it had been gently cleaned.  After using the mattifier for a few days, my forehead was looking much clearer.
Price: £35/30ml

Finally, I tried the Wild Rose Beauty Balm. Neals Yard offer the balm as a multi-purpose product and I decided to try it for three of their suggested uses - as an intense moisture boost, a lip balm and as a cleanser.

Wild Rose Beauty Balm contains vitamins and antioxidant-rich wild rosehip seed oil.  I would describe the texture as syrupy and the lovely scent as rose/herbal.  As an intense moisturiser, it did leave my face looking glowing and healthy but although it is intended for all skin types,  I feel it would be a little too oily for my skin if used on a regular basis. Again, like the Frankincense cream, it would be more suitable for me as a special treatment. As I do get dry lips sometimes in extreme weather conditions, I think it would be a very good lip balm for me at those times.  Last night, I used the balm as a cleanser and it was effective in gently removing all my makeup.  My overall opinion is that this product is most suitable when an extra moisture boost is needed.
Price: £40/50g

As can be seen from the prices given above, these skincare products are very expensive compared to some other good brands. That said, they are all good quality products, carefully made from natural and organic ingredients and invitingly presented in nice containers. Also, a little does goes a long way so they should last for quite a long time.  I did find it to be a very pleasurable experience to use these products because of the feel of the rich textures and the lovely floral/herbal scents.   

For more details of ingredients contained in these products, please visit their website: 

Friday 14 July 2017


In my last post, I was looking forward to going to the Allergy & Free From Show at the Olympia in London.

I went along on Saturday as planned.  On arriving, I enjoyed the Bloggers Meet-up in the Learning Centre, organized by Robbyn Snow, the Head of Marketing for the shows.  It was good to meet Robbyn and all the enthusiastic bloggers and some of the exhibitors too, who came to see us to promote their food and drink products. Amongst those brands were:-

Schar, who sponsored the show.  They are well known for their Gluten Free bakery products, including their Choc Chip Buns and Viennese Biscuits;

Freaks of Nature, who offer little puddings in enticing flavours - Cocoa Loco (chocolate ganache topped with hazlenuts), Mango Fandango (vanilla posset with mango and passion fruit), Zingy Thingy (lemon posset and raspberry coulis).  These puddings are free from gluten, dairy, eggs and soya;

B-Tempted, who make Luxury Gluten Free cakes, including their Flourless Brownies with Sea Salt.  (I was given a sample bag of these and they are yummy!)

angels and cookies, for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough that's free from wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts;

Wadworth Beer, who produce a Gluten Free ale at their brewery - 6X Gold.

After that, I visited the Wadworth stand and sampled their 6X Gold Gluten Free Ale. A golden ale with sweet malt and spicy notes, it was so refreshing on a hot day.  As a blogger, I had been given a sample bottle to take home (in the photograph below) and I'm really looking forward to opening it!  An interesting point to note - Wadworth offer tours of their Brewery in Wiltshire.  www.wadworthvisitorcentre.co.uk

Wadworth 6X Gold Ale, B-Tempted Brownies, Neal's Yard Remedies Sample Sachets

Walking around looking at the different stands and tasting some of the many lovely foods on display, I almost forgot my real reason for going to the show.  As a fashion and beauty blogger, I wanted to find some good hypoallergenic cosmetics and skincare products to write about for my readers who suffer from allergies.

Bath & Shower Gel and Body Lotion, in either English Lavender or Rose & Geranium from Neal's Yard Remedies, have long been my favourites.  I took a look at their stand and their consultant gave me some sample sachets of their facial skin-care products to try. Now that's going to be one little summer project for me during the quiet spell until the Autumn clothes and makeup hit the shops.

I also noticed an interesting and attractive little stand called Bo-ho Green Make-up.  They carry a selection of natural cosmetics for eyes, lips, complexion and nails, which I definitely intend to investigate further.

I really enjoyed my visit to the show. 

The next Allergy & Free From Show is on 4-5 November 2017 at the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool.  For full details of future shows, please see link:-


Thursday 6 July 2017

THE ALLERGY & FREE FROM SHOW - Friday 7th July - Sunday 9th July 2017

I always look forward each year to going to The Allergy & Free From Show at the Olympia in London and  I am delighted to say that it's on this weekend.  Commencing tomorrow (Friday) at 10am, it will run until Sunday.  

The show features a wide range of "free from" food and drink and lifestyle products.  It's a "must" for anybody who suffers from allergies, intolerances, eczema or coeliac disease or lives free from gluten, wheat, eggs, nuts or dairy ingredients.  You can taste the food and drink, try products for skin and hair and enjoy cooking classes and talks.

As a fashion and beauty blogger, my main reason for going to the show is to discover makeup and skincare products suitable for those of my readers who suffer from allergies.  When I write each season about new colours and beauty moods from the famous designer brands, I like to be able to suggest hypoallergenic alternatives for them, so that they too can get the fashionable look without problems.  Having said that, I must admit that once there I love to go round looking at the food and drink counters, tasting all the delicious samples!

I really recommend The Allergy & Free From Show and if you would like to go, you can download FREE TICKETS from this link below:-

I hope you manage to get to the show because I think you will have a great time there!

Wednesday 21 June 2017


It's the Summer Solstice today and officially the first day of Summer.  We are having a heatwave here and it's so very hot that only a swimsuit seems appropriate at the moment!  

With cooler, more normal temperatures forecast for the end of this week, my Mood Board (below) features a floaty, flower-printed top with frilled and fluted sleeves, a black top with mesh and beautiful new summer makeup with a golden glow.

On the Mood Board, clockwise:

A Flower Printed Flute-Sleeved Top from Primark, echoing key trends of this season.

  • Blue, purple, yellow and green flower print on a pale beige background in a sheer fabric. 
  • Fluted sleeves with a frill at elbow level.

Primark Flower Printed Top

A Black Blouse with mesh yoke and sleeves from H&M 
  • Black matte satin bodice with a yoke and long sleeves in sheer spotted mesh.
  • Hybrid style that gives the appearance of a camisole over a sheer body.

H&M Black Satin and Mesh Blouse


CHANEL's CRUISE COLLECTION gives a healthy, sunny glow with touches of pretty, summer colour.  The collection includes two new shades in Rouge Coco Shine, Hydrating Sheer Lipshine:

  • Golden Sun (527) (shown on the Mood Board), peach with a shimmer (on my wishlist)
  • Golden Sand (537), quite a deep, warm nude
Then there are four beautiful nail polishes in Le Vernis:

  • Sargasso (558) (shown on the Mood Board), a deep grey with a green-blue shimmer
  • Coralium (562) coral
  • Coquillage (560), a pale peachey orange (on my wishlist)
  • Sea Whip (564), a pale pink
These colours are intended to be worn with a glowing sun-kissed complexion. CHANEL have added Healthy Glow Luminous Colour to their Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder collection.  The powder-cream texture contains little golden particles and gives a natural looking tan effect.  There are four shades ranging from a rosey beige to a dark bronze:
  • Medium Light, Medium, Medium Deep, Deep   
and the compact contains a half-moon brush specially designed to achieve the right effect. This is definitely on my wishlist!

Friday 19 May 2017


It's a year since I published my post on how new flexible ways of working had led to a more relaxed attitude to work clothes.  (See link below).

Certainly, athleisure has become my daily work uniform.  In fact, I feel "dressed up" when I change from my yoga pants into denim jeans, especially black jeans!  

This season, denim comes in all forms - jeans, jackets, shirts, shorts. There's double denim, distressed denim, embroidered denim, embolished denim..... Looking ahead to Autumn, the vibes are that neat, very dark denim pieces might be a key trend.  Raf Simon's first collection for Calvin Klein featured a dark denim shirt tucked into dark denim jeans over a turtle neck. With Raf Simon now at the helm, Calvin Klein is definitely a brand to watch. 

For now, what I need is a new pair of jeans. These Feather Soft Low-rise Jeggings in dark denim blue/wash from H&M &Denim really are feather light and soft and they fit beautifully.

H&M Feather Soft Jeggings in Dark Denim Blue Wash
They have fake front pockets and real pockets at the back.

H&M Feather Soft Jeggings Back Pockets

Back now to athleisure, some of my well-worn pieces are beginning to look a little jaded in the bright Spring sunlight so I've also treated myself to new yoga pants. These H&M Yoga Tights in black have a shape waist with a mesh key pocket inside and attractive mesh panels below the knees. 

H&M Yoga Tights in Black with Mesh Panels

Detail of Mesh Panel
Of course, there isn't a contest between denim and athleisure.  Denim can be teamed very well with sports clothes - take for example that easy, favourite outfit, sweatshirt and jeans. For me, both denim and athleisure pieces are now vital basics in my wardrobe.

Friday 21 April 2017


At the beginning of Spring, I always get a desire for new makeup and a brand new pair of Converse Chuck Taylor's All Stars.  Originally designed in the 1920's by Chuck Taylor for basketball, (the French call them "les baskets"), these comfortable, rubber-soled shoes have become truly iconic.  I love them, especially as I tend to walk from place to place all the time.

Although the leather versions are great, I do find the lighter canvas All Stars ideal for Spring and Summer - in fact I wear them all the year round.  Usually, I tend to go for plain black or the combination of black with white toecaps, soles and laces, but this time I decided it was time for a change.  In fashion talk, new trainers are often described as "box-fresh".  Now what could be more "box-fresh" than WHITE CANVAS?  Yes, I know they will be more work to keep clean and white but even so.............. The red and navy stripes around the white soles are so chic too!


As I came out of Office Shoes in Portobello Road, (one of my favourite shops), happily carrying my new pair of white All Stars Low, I thought that I should find some really special trainer socks to wear with them. I was delighted with these red, white and blue stripey socks from Calzedonia.



Friday 31 March 2017


Now that it is officially Spring, I'm welcoming the new season in by adding some little touches to update the key pieces in my wardrobe.  Following the mood of my last post, my focus is on those details that add retro elegance, hints of vintage and metallic sparkle.

Beginning with lingerie, vintage inspired silk and lace always give a feeling of elegant luxury. Now is the time to ditch the opaque tights but it's too early for tanned bare legs, so I'm opting for the glamour of sheer, shiny black tights and stockings.  Vintage earrings add a twist to basic street style and red nail polish is always a chic finishing touch.  Tightening my belt in these uncertain times will not feel austere when the belt is sparkling gold and the shimmer of metallic toecaps will give a lift to my basic pieces.

Above: Silky black Brazilian knickers trimmed with cream lace;
Black silk and lace shorts (from Rosie for Autograph collection);
Both from Marks and Spencer.

Above: Black Semi Shiny 20 Denier Tights (2 Pack) from H&M

Above: Statement Stud Earrings -  brown and smokey toned gems in a petal design - 
from Accessorize

Above: Statement Stud Earrings from Accessorize;
Floral printed box (perfect for vintage style jewellery)
and tissue paper, used as a background,
from Paperchase

Above: CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Rouge Red (546),
from the COCO CODES Spring 2017 Collection 

Above: Glittery Gold Belt from H&M

Above: Tan suede-look slingbacks with shiny, metallic, gold toe caps, from H&M

So what's next on the list?  I shall be looking around at the sheer, flowery pieces that are coming into the shops and thinking about new trainers and athleisure pieces for summer.

Thursday 2 February 2017


Although last week was bitterly cold and it was difficult to imagine that Spring might be on its way, there were glimmers of hope from CHANEL.  

It was Haute Couture week in Paris and Karl Lagerfeld presented his CHANEL Spring/Summer 2017 Couture Collection at the Grand Palais. There was a return to retro elegance in the art deco style mirrored background and traditional little jackets in tweed and pretty pastel colours.  Significant touches of shimmer and glitter were added to the clothes - metallic belts round higher waistlines, silvery high heeled shoes and glitter eye makeup worn by the models.  Finally, there were some beautiful evening dresses, followed by Lily-Rose Depp modelling a pink wedding gown.

On a more accessible and affordable note, CHANEL's new Spring Makeup Collection, COCO CODES, is now on the beauty counters.  A palette of Black, White, Beige, Gold and Red, these are unusual colours for Spring makeup.  The idea is to use them in a personal way for either a vibrant or a more subtle effect.  Again, I think this is a return to a more elegant look.

I always love the lightweight, shiny and moisturising texture of CHANEL'S ROUGE COCO SHINE (Hydrating Colour Lipshine).  There are two new lovely shades this season:-

126 Beige Doré, (golden beige)
128 Noir Moderne, (plum)

I chose Noir Moderne for me.  Although this shade looks like dark chocolate in the stick, on the lips it becomes quite a subtle plum gloss.


Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner is also one of my favourite CHANEL products. It has a retractable tip and its own integrated little pencil sharpener.  I find it very easy to apply and it really doesn't run or smudge.  Two new brown shades for Spring are:-

931 Noir Pétrole
932 Mat Taupe

I bought Noir Pétrole, the darker brown, as I thought it suited me and gave my eyes more definition.


My other favourites from this collection are the Les 4 Ombres Multi-effect Quadra Eyeshadow palette 274 Codes Élégants, containing 4 shades - pale gold, gold, silver and brown - and a nail polish, Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 546 Rouge Red. These are both definitely on my wish list but I bought the lipstick and eyeliner quickly as they were selling out very fast.

I think it will be some time before Spring really arrives but there's no harm in being positive and planning ahead.  I'm getting into the mood of the new season and I like the idea of one or two small metallic accessories and also adding some elegant little touches to my usual athleisure/street style look.  I have already seen some lovely bags, purses, belts and shoes in silver, gold or copper!