UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

Friday, 30 January 2015

'Real Moments' with Simply Be

So I wanted to tell you a story about something that happened to me the other day - I think you'll like it.. it's not very long. Basically, the other day, I was getting 'camera ready' as per usual for an outfit post THIS ONE to be exact. So.. As you can imagine, I was applying my makeup, making sure my hair was 'just so'.. getting all the dog hairs off my jumper and generally making myself look better than I did previously whilst sitting in my pajamas with bed face and watching netflix.
 I strolled over to the large mirror in our living room and unwrapped my new choker, ready to add 'the final touch'. Everything was going perfectly until I accidentally managed to catch the clasp on a tighter loop than I had planned. 
Before I knew it I was strangling myself with my brand new sale purchase and I could swear that my neck was starting to swell up - probably preparing for the moment that my head was due to explode. Anyway, I dragged the necklace around on my neck so that the clasp was at the front of my neck - I'd like to add that this was probably the most difficult thing I've done in weeks - even more difficult than doing squats at the gym for the second day running. 
Y'see, to undo the choker I had to first make it even tighter, so that I could get my fingers involved to actually open the clasp. After even more struggling and a considerably more 'rose' face... I  eventually managed to break myself free and watched myself in the mirror as I continued to actually live and breathe. Success!
Anyway, the reason why I'm telling you this - other than to give you a laugh (and a warning! ) is because I was contacted on behalf of Simply Be as part of their #SimplyBeReal campaign to share a real moment, memory or fashion mishap. I was then to be paired up with an illustrator who would illustrate my story! (I know, how sick is this)
 I jumped at the chance because I feel like it's really important to share those moments that happen when you're not online.. the things you can't add a filter to or a hashtag. I guess what I'm trying to say is that everything you see online has been altered, staged or overly considered in some way. You're not seeing the whole deal - and I think it's important to think about that once in a while. I mean, to look at my outfit post you wouldn't have known that only minutes earlier I was concerned that I was taking my final breath - death by Topshop sale necklace. What an #ootd that would be.
We all do stupid things sometimes, we all have no- makeup days and fashion disasters, we all stuff ourselves with mars bars when we think no-ones looking and we all have those days where we cry for absolutely no reason at all. Next time you're reading someones blog or having a leisurely stalk of someones instagram or facebook... and you find yourself getting those pangs of jealousy, or desire for another's life - stop and think: The girl you're trying to be might very well have just choked herself half to death all in the name of a glorified selfie.

 If you're interested in seeing more of Jo's amazing work (yep.. it's all just as sick as the one above) then you can check out her website, or even catch her on twitter.. go on .. share a little love.

Let me know your 'real moments' in the comments, or tweet them using the hashtag #simplybereal - Don't forget to @ me! (@allyinblunder) It would be great to hear that I'm not the only one having regular fashion nightmares!



Thursday, 29 January 2015

Makers Gonna Make

I'm not entirely sure how to start this blog post without first telling you that I picked up this coat at a carboot for TWELVE POUNDS. So.. if you were sitting there thinking: Oh God Ally... not another coat! Please! Well then I'd like to invite you to re-consider that thought process cause: £12.
Okay So it's a little big.. well it's a lot big but I honestly couldn't give two hoots cause it's camel, and it's long, and it's warm.. and twelve.pounds.
Okay so now we've got the price out of the way, we can appreciate it purely for it's physical beauty. The fur around the collar is detachable and basically, when I'm wearing this, I feel well glamorous. Positive feelings all round.
(Oh Hey Sandy)
Vintage Coat, Topshop Jumper, Jeans & Boots

It seems mad to think about it now but at the time, me and my friend walked away from the coat thinking ' ooh.. twelve pounds is a bit much'.. and I very nearly didn't buy it.
But then I did.
So that's that.
I actually had a lovely weekend (not that you asked but oh look, I'm telling you anyway) seeing my friend from uni. We spoke about art, made vegan milkshakes (the very best thing in the universe), we went to see her boyfriend sing in a Led Zeppelin tribute band and spent pennies on lots of weird and wonderful objects at a car boot. It was nice to do those things, to engage in conversation about shows and ideas about making work. It almost reminded me who I was again. I guess that over the last year or so I seemed to have forgotten that a little bit.
Makers Gonna Make.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Primark Beauty Haul/Review

So I've been meaning to get this post up for an absolute age but have been mega busy and I knew it would take an age to film so I'd been putting it off - Until NOW.
If you've been following my Blunderland adventures for a while then you'll know that at the end of last year, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Primark Spring 15 Press event, (you can catch up on that post here if you missed it) and if you follow me on instagram then you will have seen the image of the 'pick & mix' makeup bar.. SO CUTE. 
I've actually surprised myself with how impressed I am with the products and they're just so cheap... I'm completely hating on myself for not discovering them sooner.
 P.S.Love False Lash Effect Mascara, Volumising Ultra Black Mascara, Powder Blush in Fuchsia & Liquid Lipstick in 07

I'm obsessed with wearing the false lash and volumising ultra black mascaras together and literally cannot get enough of the powder blush in fuchsia, its just SO bright and pigmented and lovely and pink and all of the positive traits that a blusher should have. If you fancy seeing all of the products that I picked up and what they look like on/how I apply them then watch the video below! Don't forget to subscribe if you want to see more! 

What do you think of Primark's beauty range?



Sunday, 25 January 2015

Getting A Workout With Primark

It's been January for a while now and I for one have been dabbling in this fitness business. Don't get me wrong, I haven't ever been an avid gym go-er apart from a few phases during uni and I didn't used to be able to run to save my life, but there has certainly been periods in my life where I've really got into the whole health thing and I can feel another phase coming on.. This time I'm hoping it sticks.
So, in the spirit of all things health, I had a little splurge on the Primark Workout range and thought I'd give you a bit of a rundown of some useful tips (apps) and tricks to get you moving this year.
FORM. Whatever you're doing, make sure you're doing it right. I'm not trying to put the pressure on here and say what's the 'right' way to workout, as different things work for different people but if you're doing squats, weights, lunges, whatever - google the movement and watch some youtube videos on it before you try it out - and especially before you add weights to the movement. I found that squatting in front of a full length mirror (glamorous image there) really helped me get my form right, they can be such a nightmare to get right and if you're doing them wrong - as with any exercise - you're gonna pull muscles and ache in places you shouldn't.
I think my fitness highlight has to be when I ran the Race For Life in 2013 (God.. where the hell did that time go?). I genuinely couldn't run before training for that and I can put my success purely down to a little app called ' Couch Potato to 5k' Literally did what it said on the tin. It's an app that coaches you through interval training, starting with minimal running and mostly walking and builds you up until you can run over 3 miles. To some this will sound easy but to those of you that struggle to run longer than about 3 seconds, I hear ya, and I'm saving you. Download the app. Seriously.
Get some comfortable and practical gear for your workouts. If you're running outside, and it's as cold as it is right now, you'll need a sports hoody to keep you warm without overheating you when you start to get warmed up. This one from Primark is perfect for me and is so comfortable that it makes me actually WANT to go running. What is this? 
If you're working out in the gym and are less bothered about cardio and more bothered about toning and weights then maybe you don't need running trainers. I personally find that bright and colourful workout gear (there's something about neon) really makes me feel like I'm 'the real deal' even if I only ever move once a year. Wear what's comfortable for you and ladies - always wear a sports bra. Come on now, it'll make your life easier and for a while, you'll forget you even have boobs cause they'll be so squashed into your chest that you'll be able to jump and swing and frolic around with no sudden reminders of your ladyness. Lovely.
Another thing that really changed the way I workout is breathing. I know it sounds stupid but I can't stress enough how breathing the wrong way can turn a potentially awesome workout into a disappointing fail. I used to think that I had an issue with breathing or that I couldn't possibly run longer than 3 seconds otherwise I would pass out due to lack of oxygen but somehow, through actually slowly working up my fitness and not freaking the hell out every time I ran an extra second, I almost, relaxed into it? My boyfriend (the marathon runner) always told me that there's a short amount of time at the beginning of a run where it'll feel unnatural and like a struggle and that after you pass through that, you find that you can actually breathe and can then run for a further million miles. The latter has never been true for me but sure enough, I found my 'barrier' and it's about ten minutes in. After that point, my body sort of calms the hell down and lets me actually run without looking and feeling like I'm about to die. Excellent.
Primark Leggings, Sports Top & Hoody, WESC Headphones, Nike 'Zoom Quick' Trainers

Get some comfortable headphones and create the most motivating playlist that you can. For me, those 'in-ear' headphones have always been a massive ball-ache and fall out or hurt my poor little ear drums so I'm more of a full on headphone gal. The only downside to these is that when I'm running, they act as a pair of ear muffs and my head gets so hot it could burst.. So we'll see how that goes. I've also recently started using the 'soundcloud' app. Other than just paying for music & the odd risky illegal download, I've been using spotify for my gym playlist as it's free, I can add new songs all the time and well.. it's just easy. BUT THE ADVERTS. Yeah so that's where Soundcloud comes in. Same principal, same lack of payment and none of the ads. I tend to go for really upbeat tunes, a lot of oldies from the 90's and the occasional club classic. Does the trick!

If you're interested in seeing more of the workout gear that I picked up from Primark then you can watch my haul video below, if you don't want to hear me ramble then you can skip to 4 mins to avoid watching the thing's you've already seen above!

If you found this type of post useful and would like some more links to things I'm using/watching etc to get me back into fitness then let me know in the comments!

What do you think of the Primark workout gear?



Friday, 23 January 2015

Urban Outfitters SS15

If you haven't been able to motivate yourself into thinking all things Spring/Summer yet then let me help you out a little. Ive pieced together a few images from the Urban Outfitters SS15 Look-book and boy are they beautiful. As you can expect, UO have remained completely on point with their effortlessly cool styling and swoon-worthy textures.  There is not one item in this look-book that I don't want to get my grubby little mitts all over and it's making me unbelievably excited for crop tops and skirts with no tights. I know.. who am I?
Now then, can we all just take a moment to appreciate how bloody brilliant the above image is? I never would have thought of styling an outfit like this but now I've seen it I feel like it's burned into my brain forever more and I'm happy about it. The shoes, the crop.. the MESH. Oh good god somebody get me a camomile tea cause I'm getting a little worked up about this. Maybe I should calm myself down by looking at the swimwear...
 Nope : Just as great. I'm completely in love with this one piece and the simplicity of it. This is one thing that I can guarantee I'll be purchasing ready for holiday weather! (I don't actually have a holiday booked yet but even if I wear it in my garden standing in a paddling pool I'll still consider it a worthwhile purchase)

 Have you seen anything that you're likely to purchase once the weather gets a little nicer?



Thursday, 22 January 2015

Her Name Was Fly Girl

 So this dress is nearly a year old, I bought it last February from Boohoo whilst at home recovering from an operation and excessively internet shopping and for some reason, it's only just made an appearance on the blog now. I find this particularly odd as I wear it ALL the time. It's perfect for the colder months if you're still into dresses as it's got long sleeves and is a nice thick cotton. 
I've styled it with this Topshop cardigan which you might have seen in my haul video here, my new asos backpack and my failsafe Topshop beanie. I think that sometimes I forget that I can be ridiculously comfortable in clothes other than pajamas and this outfit is one that I'll be rocking probably all too much over the next few months mainly for that comfort factor. Mmm snuggly.
Topshop Cardigan & Beanie, Asos Backpack, Boohoo Dress, Nike Air Max 90's

I'd been wanting to pick up a backpack for a while now as I find that any time I bring my camera out with me for the day, My shoulders and back are absolutely killing from the weight of it as I usually wear a satchel or over the shoulder bag. I know how dramatic I sound but I promise you, it's a lot more likely that this is all due to how much of a pathetically weak human I am than because I'm being dramatic (which I'm totally not.) It's got a small zipped pocket inside where I keep my phone and keys etc and then I just chuck the rest of my belongings in and I'm off. No more back ache and a lot less faffing. Perfect.

 What's your go-to comfy outfit?



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Beauty Battle #1

So I had somewhat of a 'brainwave' the other day... (Yes this is what counts as a brainwave for me.) and I came up with a little idea for some new beauty posts over here in Blunderland. I'm not sure whether this will be fortnightly or monthly but basically the idea is that I'll pick two products that are meant to do a similar thing and play them off against each other in a vicious and ferocious beauty battle.
So basically I'll compare them.
I thought it might be a nice way of getting some reviews in that are quick and easy to read with a clear purpose, as I tend to ramble but you already know that.
This weeks battle is as follows:
Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender Brush V Mac 217 Brush
Appearance: The Mac 217 is pretty standard looking as brushes go.. it's got a black wooden handle and silver detailing, and the brush itself is comprised of many densely packed cream fibres in a fluffly little oval shape. The Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender however is a work of pure beauty. It's crimson wooden handle and rose gold detailing make it look that little bit more luxury and the handle is shaped so that it doesn't just roll of the table like many other brushes do... CT wins this round.
Price Point: The Mac 217 comes in at £19 whereas The Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender is a little more expensive at £25.
Does What It Says On The Tin?:Okay so here's the deal. Both brushes are great at what they do, they both blend shadows effortlessly, are perfect for placing a little pocket of colour into the crease and they both pick up and displace product like a dream.  But here's the difference; unlike the Mac 217, the Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender is not only your perfect partner for blending and loosely dusting prime shades over the lid.. but it can also displace product in the most definitive of ways.. whilst still remaining soft around the edges - so no scary shadow lines here! If you're looking to get that beautifully angled smokey eye, CT's your gal. Sorry Mac, but you just missed out this time.

Which product do you think would win for you?
Do you like the idea of regular 'beauty battle' posts?
Let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, 18 January 2015

All Black Everything

I picked up this jumper dress in the Cos sale earlier this week and boy am I in love. I feel that as of late, I've found myself being drawn to more plain, classic pieces that won't go out of fashion and that are made to last, as apposed to splashing money on new things every week. When I tried this dress on in the shop, I was overwhelmed by just how beautiful it felt to wear. It was a good kind of heavy..does that make sense? It didn't cling to my post - Christmas bulge but didn't feel so loose that it was unflattering or boring. My mom says it looks like I'm wearing a sack... but she says a lot of things.
My necklace is another sale purchase but this time from Topshop, and on paper I love it, but.. I don't know.. I feel like maybe it looks a little bit ' whips & chains/dog collar' esque slightly concerning to say the least. Help/advice please?
Cos Jumper Dress, Topshop Coat & Necklace, New Look Boots

If you want to see any of the other pieces that I picked up in the sales, then check out my haul video below! I'm sure you'll be seeing most of these in outfit posts in the future so it's also a bit of a sneak preview of what's to come!

Have you picked up anything nice in the sales recently?
Let me know in the comments below!



Thursday, 15 January 2015

January Beauty Haul

I'm back with another haul, what an absolute shocker! These are all of the beauty bits and pieces that I've picked up in the sales, (& maybe some not in the sales) over the last few weeks and I'm basically in love with every single one of them. They have all improved my life dramatically, whether that be by giving the illusion that I actually have cheekbones under all my face skin, or making my eyelashes point in the right direction.. finally. Grab yourself a cuppa, and a pen and paper, cause after watching this video, you might find yourself writing yourself a little shopping list.

Have you picked up anything in the sales? Let me know your best beauty buy!


Sunday, 11 January 2015

The 'It' Cape

If you're looking to branch into the world of capes it's not too late, and this is the one for you.
I picked up this beauty in the Zara sale online a few days after Christmas and on Thursday it finally arrived at my door in all it's capey goodness. I know we all went on a bit of an obsession with the blanket cape as autumn arrived but this is a more formal extension of that.. perfect for winter with plenty of room for layering, and can make any outfit look that little bit more considered.

 I absolutely love the round collar and the way it sits flat and... it's basically just what I wanted in a cape, and because it's not a coat, I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty for adding it to my collection. If you're looking at me and thinking, 'Hmm.. I see some resemblance to somebody magical but I just can't put my finger on it..' well then let me put you out of your misery by telling you it's Snape. Yup. I'd like to think that it's just my 'needing a trim' hair length and unfortunately miserable expression that lends us to agree that I am in fact a perfect dupe for him, and not that I look like an angry old man. Here's hoping.

 Zara Cape (Sale), Topshop Bag (Sale), Boots, Shirts, Jeans

I managed to pick up this Topshop satchel in the sale, reduced from £60 to about £20, which including my staff discount meant it was worth all of the pennies that it cost. I made sure that I made use of that discount before I left as I just know I would have regretted leaving it behind - or worse.. having to pay full price for it.

Also, whilst I've got you here, I just wanted to let you know that there might be a few changes round these ends in the upcoming weeks. I'm hoping to get my new blog design sorted cause this one just aint doin' it for me, and I'm planning on incorporating a bit more beauty along the way. It's something I've become super passionate about over the last year and I really feel like the right lip can make or break an outfit so there's that. I've also struggled for a while with wanting to make my blog a more personal space with occasional 'catch-up' posts but I'm currently unsure as I don't want to overload you with too much garble so I might keep the more personal stuff to my youtube channel. 
I'd love to hear some feedback on what you'd like to see more of here in blunderland?

And breathe. 

Hope you're all settling into January with ease and I'll be back soon with more purchases to enable your spendy spendy habits!

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