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I love the changing seasons and the new fashions that they bring.
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Saturday, 9 May 2020

WHAT HAPPENED TO SPRING 2020 FASHION?

Hi everyone, I hope you are safe and well.  Here in London we have been in lockdown for seven weeks.  Whilst it might have become a bit monotonous, I have been very glad and grateful to be safe in my own home and breathing!

Yes, as a fashion/beauty blogger, I have really missed those little pleasures like looking at the clothes in the shops, discovering new makeup colours and textures at the beauty counters, going to fashion and beauty events and often working on my blog in my favourite coffee shops but of course, as always, there is still a lot happening online.  I admit that the highlights of my life now seem to be things like eating nice food and watching "Killing Eve"! I find that television series so exciting with an edge of comedy and interesting fashionwise too.  Villanelle, is mad and murderous but cheekily comic - she's so beautiful and all those clothes she wears that go from ultra feminine to gender fluid!  Eve, has a sort of laid-back, casual, often untidy glamour.  Carolyn, Eve's MI6 boss, is impeccable in her smart, casual, classic pieces. I can just imagine her ordering her clothes on-line from Net-a-Porter whilst eating her "peanut butter sandwiches"!

I feel very sorry for the retail fashion business.  They had been through a tough time, what with austerity and the uncertainty of Brexit but as we began 2020, they must have been feeling more hopeful.  Bravely, they started to fill their shops with lovely new Spring pieces and then this happened and their shops were closed.  True, most of them have an online outlet (sadly not Primark) but I can't imagine that most people are buying many clothes at the moment.  

Back in February, before things got bad, I was looking at the new season's clothes.  I was getting very excited about puffed sleeves (yes, another of my nods to Miu Miu) and I began by buying this little black, long-sleeved top in a silky, crepe type knit from H&M's Divided range.  The puffed sleeves are not very exaggerated and it can be worn quite casually now in lockdown style.  I am still thinking about ordering online one of those beautiful summer blouses with big puffed sleeves.


Black puffed sleeve top from H&M
It looks as if some aspects of the lockdown might be eased a little soon but there's not likely to be an end to social distancing in the near future.  I don't visualise me personally doing much dressing up and clothes buying this season.  Somehow I think I will be looking back come Autumn and saying "Whatever happened to Spring 2020 Fashion?

Stay safe.

The puffed sleeved top shown above was NOT GIFTED.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

LOCKDOWN LIFESTYLE - ATHLEISURE & SOAP

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and safe from this horrible virus. Here in London we are of course in lockdown and  many of us are working from home.

Back in February, before this all turned really bad, I had begun to refresh my Athleisure collection with a few new pieces.  I mentioned my new hoodie in my last post:
http://www.petite-panache.com/2020/02/personal-style-everyday-essentials.html

I also went on to buy two new pairs of leggings.  Being very petite, I usually avoid anything baggy but I did buy these black joggers from Primark.

Black Joggers from Primark


Black Joggers - Details of Waist
They are actually quite a neat shape and fit nicely around the waist and hips. Made in a lightweight 96% Polyester and 4% Elastane jersey material, they are not bulky at all and I'm very pleased with them.

I also bought a new pair of my usual slim style black leggings from the H&M Divided Basics range.  These are made in a 95% Cotton 5% Elastane jersey material and have an elasticated waist.


Black Jersey Leggings from H&M Divided Basics
Athleisure was my everyday work style anyway but now in the lockdown it's become even more relevant.  As you might expect, retailers have been promoting their Athleisure pieces and pyjamas on line! After all, dressing up at the moment would literally be "all dressed up with nowhere to go"!

A key feature of lifestyle at the moment is undoubtedly the constant handwashing.  This of course can be very drying and it goes without saying that a very gentle, moisturising soap is essential.  Whilst I know that some people with allergies need to avoid using perfumed soap, for the rest of us the combination of a lovely texture and a beautiful fragrance can make this necessary ritual a pleasurable and even holistic experience.

For quite some time I had been washing my hands with Marks & Spencer's Floral Collection Lavender soap.  Enriched with moisturisers (including glycerine), it's delicately fragranced with Lavender. It makes a lovely creamy lather and leaves my hands feeling soft and hydrated.  I  feel as if I am using soap and hand lotion at the same time! Now, the way things are, I appreciate it even more and I quickly stocked up with two boxes!  The soap comes as a set of 3 bars in a box.

M&S Floral Collection Lavender Soap

I would add that this soap is not tested on animals and has been approved by Cruelty Free International. Also, it's suitable for vegetarians.

Meanwhile, whilst  we have been in lockdown, Spring has crept in making our permitted daily walk very pleasant!

Keep safe everyone!

None of the items mentioned in this post were Gifted.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

PERSONAL STYLE & EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS

For the last year or two, I have enjoyed reading blogs by lovely ladies, Gail  www.isthismutton.com and Anna www.muttonstyle.com and by the lovely ladies that share their posts on their linkups.  These ladies are over 50 and write about fashion and beauty. They explode the myths and assumptions generated by the media (and some retailers too) about how women over 50 dress, how they like to dress and what they should and shouldn't wear.  These ladies wear what they want to wear, whether it's very trendy or more on the classic side.  It's all about personal style. 

For me personally, my only "rule" (whatever the age is, be it 16, 66 or older still) is to
look candidly in the mirror and ask one's self:
  • Does this suit me as I am NOW?
  • Does it suit my face and my body?
  • Does it suit my personality?
  • Does it suit my lifestyle
  • Is it chic?
Being small in both height and build (size 6), I normally wear neat pieces.  Colourwise, I do often like to wear black.  I also like new fashion and update my style to reflect new trends.  In recent years I have been inspired by designer brands like Saint Laurent and The Kooples.  Their collections include a lot of iconic basic black pieces, often with a "rock chic" touch but with a sophisticated look.  For everyday, my "uniform" has become an easy athleisure style.

I never thought too much about age but recently I've noticed certain changes to  my  face, body and hair - Petite Panache has finally come of age!!!  Does this mean that I need to change my style? No, but there are things that need some extra help or are better concealed and I am making some little adjustments. Also, I find that I want to "adorn" myself a little bit more with makeup and jewellery.

In a nod to greenness,  declutter and a tight budget, I have been buying less lately but I've started 2020 - a new decade - with just a little shop for some new everyday essentials:
  • An essential black nylon t-shirt bra from Primark's Secret Possession's range - silky at the front with transparent sides and back.



  • Black Swiss Embroidered High Leg Knickers from M&S Autograph collection.  I like their knickers because they are always comfortable (both the fit and the soft materials).  The silky cotton/polyamide blend and the transparent parts make them a good match with the bra.

  • Hoodies, always a key piece in an athleisure wardrobe, are extra trendy this season. This one, from the H&M Basics/Divided range, is made in a black cotton blend sweatshirt material. I like the cropped style, the hood with the wrapover front, the raglan sleeves and the soft, brushed warm fabric inside.  


Some other basic essentials:





In the photo above:
  • Black shoulder/crossbody bag in a polyester fabric with a sheen from H&M Divided.  It has two handy little zipped compartments at the front.
  • Black mock-croc wallet and essential touchscreen gloves, both from Primark.
  • My favourite perfume (ultra essential!) Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau De Parfum.  A blend of black coffee, white florals and vanilla, it really is addictive!  YSL describe it as a "glamrock fragrance"!
Gail recently published the results of her Is This Mutton Survey that she put to her readers.  One question she asked us was how we felt about having grey hair and  25% said that they were happy to be grey.  I colour my hair with a very gentle semi-permanent product that also acts as a conditioner. You can read about it on my page, "How To Do Chestnut Hair" (see the tab at the top of my blog).  I've certainly no plans to go grey at the moment or in the near future.

In the News! Sharon Osbourne has stopped dying her 100% white hair red and is now platinum blonde! 


None of these items were gifted



Wednesday, 29 January 2020

CHANEL Spring Makeup - Soft Tones Of The Desert

It's been cold January and it didn't seem that Spring was near.  Spring must be on the horizon though because last week it was Spring/Summer 2020 Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris.  That's always my wake-up call that the new season isn't so far away!  

The Spring/Summer makeup is appearing on the beauty counters too.  Readers of my blog must think I'm very predictable as I always begin a new season with new makeup. There are good reasons for this - some of the new season's beautiful  shades are limited editions and can sell out fast. Also, I  do find that buying the new makeup helps me to get into the mood for the season ahead.

CHANEL is always one of my favourite brands.  For Spring 2020, Lucia Pica (CHANEL's Global Creative Makeup & Colour Designer) was inspired by muted tones of the Desert - soft shades of mauve, pink, peach combined with a soft golden glow.  I think these are beautiful colours for Spring and will give a soft, pretty and healthy look.

I bought 2 pieces from the collection - Les 4 Ombres in Warm Memories (354) and Le Vernis in Mirage (739).


Les 4 Ombres is a palette of 4 eyeshadows in a smart, shiny black CHANEL compact with a large mirror.  I love the soft mauvy theme of  the Warm Memories palette and the contrast of matte and iridescent finishes.

 Les 4 Ombres in Warm Memories (354)
Photo above: The shades, clockwise from top left - matte rosy mauve; a lighter, rosy mauve with a slight shimmer; metallic, iridescent orange/pink/gold;  darker muted plum with a slight shine.

CHANEL enclose a helpful little 2-sided card with the palette suggesting 2 looks:-


Look 1: using 2 shades - light and medium
Look 2 - Using all 4 shade

I mostly use 2 shades on my eyes - a light one above with a medium or dark one on the eyelid.  As I need definition, I usually use an eyeliner or eye pencil to outline the eye.  With this palette, instead of an eyeliner, I might use the dark plum shadow close to the lashes to rim the eyes as suggested in Look 2.  I'm looking forward to wearing these eyeshadows in different ways.

Le Vernis in Mirage (739) is a very beautiful muted mauve nail polish and perfect for this look.

CHANEL Le Vernis in Mirage (739)

As usual with CHANEL nail polish, it's easy to apply smoothly.

I'm really delighted with both of these products. I do find new season's makeup exciting!😊

On My Wish List:

To go with this theme, Éclat Du Désert is an illuminating powder.  It combines a golden shimmer with a satiny, rosy beige base and because of the pink tones, CHANEL suggest using it both as a blusher and a highlighter (on cheeks, bridge of the nose and the Cupid's Bow.)

None of the items mentioned above were Gifted.