Tuesday, 31 May 2011

One Maxi Skirt, Five Outfits!

I wore my new maxi skirt from Peacocks to work today and I paired it with a navy vest, blue slouchy tshirt and navy blazer. (I also wore some navy leggings underneath as it gets really chilly at work). It got me thinking how else I could wear it because at the end of the day it is just a long tube of slightly stretchy fabric.

Outfit 1

 This was my work outfit minus the blue tshirt and I think it looks quite smart and just about suitable for an office.
Outfit 2

 Quite simply I took the skirt and pulled it up to make a dress. To add a bit of interest I added a leather belt and rouched the material slightly. Add a hat and it transforms into a beach dress.

Outfit 3

 Leaving it as a midi- dress I added the slouchy blue tshirt and tied it in a knot. I like the fact you can see a little bit of stripe at the neckline as its so low.

Outfit 4

 I turned the skirt inside out, folded it back on itself and then rolled it the right way so it bacame a bubble hem mini. Worn with leggings, tshirt tucked in and belt to disguise the slightly loose fabric.

Outfit 5

This is similar to outfit 3 but I substituted the tshirt for the navy vest. This could also be worn with the blazer and would be quite a comfy casual outfit.

Which is your favourite? I think I like the beach dress but maybe I am just too excited for my holiday!

Alyssa xx

Monday, 30 May 2011

Bank Holiday Update and OOTD

This past week I have been so busy at work that I just haven't had chance to do a blog! But I thought I would leave a quick note just to remind you that I'm still here and will be back with more interesting posts once things have quietened down a little bit!

So today I nipped out to the shops for a couple of hours as it was raining and was fed up of playing on the xbox! I managed to wear all my current favoruite items of clothing at once: River island skinny combats, French Connection Stripy tshirt, New look blazer and my comfy tan mocassins. Also you can't really see from this pic but my hair was amazing poofy!

 I ended up buying this skirt in Peacocks, it looks much nicer in real life than on this pic asit is more of a burnt orange not fluorescent! It also hugs the body so makes you look like you have nice curves.

Maxi Skirt £16 Peacocks
I'm also quite a fan of the underwear at Peacocks as it always fits me so well and I came away with lots of bits and pieces, my favourite being this gorgeous set which looks really expensive! Take a look at it here!

Bra £7 Knickers £3.50 Peacocks
So that was today's mini shopping splurge, I hope to write a more exciting post next time. I have some recipes I want to share with you that I made for some friends on Sunday nght.

Alyssa xx

Monday, 23 May 2011

Holiday Countdown!

Its just over a month til my holiday to Kos with my lovely bf and I'm already a little bit excited! I think it is because I enjoy packing my suitcase, is that strange? I wanted to do a quick post about some holiday essentials:

Most important is sun cream! I am very pale and always like to make sure I am buying the best sun cream to avoid getting burnt. TK Maxx had Piz Buin for sale at £5.99 a bottle which I thought was great value so I grabbed a couple of bottles. I just found that they also do a tan intensifier version although not sure if it actually makes any difference. There is also a matching after-sun lotion, which is important to use to re-hydrate your skin after a day in the sun.

I will also be taking some of my own handmade body butter as its really nourishing and the oils just melt as soon as they touch your skin. I think I will take a natural scented version, maybe add some aloe vera as a cooling addition. If you want to try some its only £4.99 for a 100ml tub.

Another of my own products will be the lush Mandarin Dreams shower bar. I love fruity smells especially on holiday and this bar has loads of cocoa butter in too so it makes your skin silky soft as well as being clean and refreshed. Its only £2.49 for 100g.

Whilst in the shower I will be using a lemon solid shampoo bar, one of these bars will last for ages, even washing hair every day. I usually cut mine into quarters and just use a hand held piece. £2.49 for 100g is amazing value especially as i get 3 or 4 washes out of just one quarter and I have long thick hair.

My hair usually gets frazzled on holiday due to the heat, chlorine from the pool and also its not used to being washed every single day so a good conditioner is important. Normally a deep conditioning treatment would make my hair greasy but it will need some extra tlc. I'm sure most people have tried Aussie products and know how great they are so I picked this 3 minute miracle deconstructor. I usually take the little sachets with me to save space.

Finally, you want to know what make-up I will be taking? none! I never wear make up on holiday mainly because I get too hot and it runs off! I will probably take a lip-tint to wear on an evening (lipstick is a no-no as it will get all soft and melt) I will no doubt throw in a little perfume sample probably my favourite Miss Dior Cherie. Perfectly light and floral!

What do you pack into your suitcase?

Alyssa xx

Saturday, 21 May 2011

My recent purchases plus OOTD

I have had such a busy and stressful week that I decided I needed some retail therapy! I had to go to the shopping centre as I needed to get my mum's birthday present from WHSmiths so decided to look around the other shops as I only go to the shopping centre about once a year!

Here is what I wore. I needed something comfy and casual and as it was sunny and warm-ish I went for the plain maxi dress. I didn't really dress it up as I hate jewellery and stuff getting caught when trying on clothes etc.

Maxi Dress New Look £5
Cardigan Primark £11
Belt Free

First purchase was these leather loafers for £22, reduced from £44 from ebay. The postman brought them this morning which was a nice surprise as I wasn't expecting them to arrive til next week.

I then went a bit crazy in Primark as its somewhere I very rarely go. I bought a lovely tshirt which you may remember from a previous post so I went in to see if they still had it in another colour. I ended up buying it in cinammon.

I also picked up another cardigan in the same style as I was wearing but in a camel colour.

I got three vests for £2 each and a cream long sleeved tshirt as I like layering clothes.

These shorts are in anticipation of my holiday next month. A pair of stone coloured linen shorts and some patterned light weight cotton ones which will be great to throw on with one of the vests above!

Some extra bits include a headband which is memory wire with fabric over so you can twist it around your head. It is so comfortable to wear and doesn't slip off like a headscarf. Some glossy natural tights, I love these ones as they have aloe vera in and your legs feel moisturised when you take them off!
The wedges were actually from Blue Inc, I just saw them on the rack in the entrance, they had them in coral too but unfortunately not in my size so I went for black instead.

I then nipped into the Body Shop, (another shop I never go in) as I really needed something for my skin. I've been using the Benefit B.right range but I have just started breaking out again so I think my skin is too sensitive for it. I spent ages talking to the assistant who was really helpful and let me test everything and this is what I came out with.

From left to right:
Tea tree skin clearing lotion for blemished skin
Vitamin C facial polish for dull skin
Eye roll on and brightener for dull skin 

The three items on the right were free gifts because I spent over £25. And they include Vitamin E hand cream, Vitamin E eye cream and a mascara. Heard lots of good reviews of the Body Shop mascaras so looking forward to trying it out.

So let me know what you think, was I sensible shopper? haha

Alyssa xx

Monday, 16 May 2011

Music Monday...on a Monday!

My mum said a funny thing to me yesterday. She said it was strange that even though I am such a mild- mannered and calm person how I listen to such heavy music all the time. I reckon it is how I vent my anger and frustrations by blasting some heavy metal in my ears!

I was a bit annoyed last week as Spotify decided to put a limit on the number or times you can listen to a song or album with their free account which meant I had to go and actually buy some albums which I have been listening to on there for ages.

I splashed out on Disturbed- 10 Thousand Fists as its a bit of a classic album but I've only just started listening to it properly. Its a really good album and has already made it onto my ipod. I also bought Slipknot's Debut album for a bargain 94p from Amazon Playtrade. AND I finally ordered the latest Hinder album but I havn't got it yet as it is coming all the way from America as nowhere in the UK stock it!

If you havn't heard of Hinder, they are soft American rock, very similar to Nickelback. Have a listen!

That's all for now,

Alyssa xx

Sunday, 15 May 2011

OOTD Update

Now blogger has decided to come back I can update you with some outfits from this week. First up its date night outfit, I decided to be brave and wear a skirt with natural tights! Ignore my weird looking down pose, self timer doesn't give much time and my hair was weird!

Pink pearl vest Boohoo £6
Silver pencil skirt Vintage
Chain handle Bag Suzy Smith Vintage
Jacket As before

I then decided I liked the bare legs look so I wore another skirt although this is actually a dress with a tshirt over the top. Who says you shouldn't wear spots and stripes together, and this is one of my favourite tshirts at the moment.

Tshirt French Connection via BW Free
Spotty Dress Primark via BW Free
Chunky Belt Dunnes £2
Blazer New Look £19.99

Finally, these are some new sunglasses I picked up from my local chemists for only £3.99. Love both the shape and the colour of the them, shame it hasn't been sunny enough to wear them!

I am planning a little giveaway with a twist at the moment, one lucky follower will win a selection of my handmade bath and body products which you will find on my website Clarise Cosmetics, the twist is that you will have to write a review on your blog about my products!

Let me know what you think to my giveaway idea!

Alyssa xx

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Beauty Review: Benefit b.right

Recently I have had quite problematic skin, my T-zone has been very oily and I became very blemished. I knew it was time for a skin detox, however my usual Clinique 3-step didn't seem to be doing it's job. Sometimes your skin can get used to a certain product and it stops having an effect so I decided it was time to have a break and try something new. I have started using the Benefit b.right skincare range which is supposed to give you radiance. I have used it twice a day for 4 days and I know it doesn't sound a long time but I have already noticed quite a difference so here are my my first impressions:

1. The packaging looks fantastic, the cork effect lids and the textured glass bottles look great on display in the bathroom, however I have found it quite difficult to get the product out and I'm sure it will be even trickier once I get to the bottom of the bottles.

2. All the products are quite stongly fragranced, I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it is but it is a very sweet floral smell which is I actaully really like. I am not sure if it will be suitable for people who have sensitive skin who prefer to use unfragranced lotions.

3. The prices are quite high, as with all Benefit products and this might put a lot of people off. I'm also not sure how much different it is to lower priced skincare. I have seen it on sale in a few places but it is always exactly the same price.


Foamingly Clean Facial Wash 150ml £16.50
I have used this every day, morning and night. It lathers up really well and feels quite light. My skin feels very clean after using it, it even has a sort of pearlised effect as it comes out of the tube which is nice.

Refined Finish Facial Polish 150ml £17.50
I use this after the facial wash, it is a very very gentle exfoliator and is designed to brighten your skin. It does feel nice to use and my skin feels fresh afterwards.

Moisture Prep Toning Lotion 175ml £23.50
This seems quite expensive for what it is, its just like another toning lotion but it seems quite greasy to me which is unlike any other toner I have used. I havn't used this every time either as I'm not sure what its purpose is, it claims to prepare your skin for moisturiser. I'm glad I only got a sample of it.

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 £19.50
This was recommended to me by the assistant at the counter as I have oily t-zone and this is an oil-free moisturiser. I have been testing it and found it is quite light and non-greasy but it is quite sticky which is probably why it is called an emulsion. I imagine it is quite good for applying make-up over the top as it will stick to it well. I will continue to use this though as I have been looking for an alternative to Clinique's Moisture Surge.

Total Moisture Facial Cream 60ml £26.50
I only got a sample of this full moisturising cream but the sample is actaully quite big so will last me about a month or so I imagine. I have been especially careful not to apply this to the oily parts of my skin as it is very thick and creamy. Personally I think it will be more suited to dry skin but I havn't noticed any adverse effects from using it a couple of times.

Its Potent Eye Cream 15ml £23.50
Another reccommendation from the counter as I have dark under eye circles. Apparently if you don't notice any visible results in 28 days you can return it for a refund which is quite reassuring. I have used this religiously twice a day as I really want to find something that brightens my eyes. I get tonnes of sleep and eat healthily but apparently dark circles are genetic. I have noticed it stays quite shiny for ages, not sure if thats supposed to happen but I have still been applying concealor over the top.

To summarise, I am relatively impressed so far as my skin has cleared up. I went to the Benefit counter at the weekend covered in blemishes and looking in a bit of a state, even the lady that served me said I was being brave leaving the house without make-up on but needs must. I'm not sure every product in the range is suitable for my skin, similarly not everything will be suitable for those with dry skin either but it is worth trying to blag some free samples and trialing it for a few weeks.

Have you tried it out yet? let me know what you think...

Alyssa xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Music Monday...on a Tuesday

I thought I would do a feature on music every week as its also an interest of mine alongside fashion. My music tastes are very specific though, I am a fan of heavy metal, thrash metal, nu-metal, alternative metal, classic rock, soft rock, grunge mainly. My ears can't cope with female singers so any warbly-Adele type songs on the radio are swiftly turned off!

Here are some of my all time favourite singers:

Scott Stapp- from the 90's post-grunge band Creed. These are big in America but not so much in the UK, I don't think they have ever toured outside of USA and Canada which is a shame.

Myles Kennedy- when Creed split and reformed without Scott Stapp they found a new singer Myles Kennedy, they are now called Alter Bridge and I was lucky enough to see them in Nottingham and it was amazing as everyone at the gig was singing along. I also think he is pretty hunky! :P

Eddie Vedder- the distinct voice of another 90's grunge band- Pearl Jam. If you can't think of a Pearl Jam song just You Tube them and you will realise you know more than you think.

Corey Taylor- I love this guy so much, better known for singing screaming in Slipknot, he then formed Stone Sour which is one my favourite bands, he has an amazing voice but it was so wasted in Slipknot.

Ryan McCombs- the singer for SOiL, who then went onto join Drowning Pool replacing Jason Jones who was a stand-in for the original singer Dave Williams who died only age 30. So sad :(

R.I.P Dave Williams (another great heavy metal singer/growler)

Let me know what you think to music Monday (on a Tuesday)...

Alyssa xx

Colour Inspiration...Orange

Orange is a colour I usually avoid, well to be honest I usually avoid most colours and stick to black but I have been trying to be a bit more adventurous recently. Orange is definitley the colour of the season and I thought I would make a colour board mixing and matching some orange pieces with some of my other favoruite colours at the moment, naturals such as tan and khaki plus navy (which is a great alternative to black!) I have opted for a bright orange as the other colours are quite muted and I wanted a contrast but there are many shades depending on how brave you want to be.

What colour would you wear with orange? Which shade do you prefer?

Alyssa xx