A touch of neon

Blazing hues of orange were all over the Spring/Summer 13 catwalks and while I’m no slave to trends, I do like my wardrobe to at least incorporate a nod to the current season. And let’s face it, after three children I’m unlikely to embrace the bare midriff trend also spotted at the SS13 fashion shows.

I have to confess that I am not entirely comfortable with bright colours, preferring to stick to a more muted palette of black, grey, navy, and white. If I do venture near them I tend to steer away from yellow and orange and choose the colours at the colder end of the spectrum like pink and blue. But comfort zones are there to break out of and this week I’m really tempted by this neon stripe sweater from J. Crew. The orange is brighter in real life than it looks in the picture but combined with the white, the effect is crisp and fresh, especially when teamed with denim. As luck would have it, the sweater is currently on sale on the J.Crew website (link)

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If I was really brave I would crank up the neon look a bit further and add this Comme de Garcons clutch bag and Marc by Marc Jacobs sandals (both from My Wardrobe) to complete the outfit.

Orange Collage

Beauty line-up

Beauty collage

Why, oh why, do all beauty products run out at the same time and with a week to go until payday? Luckily I had some points saved up on my Boots advantage card so I was able to stock up and replenish my bathroom cabinet shelves without too much damage to the bank balance. There is always the temptation to buy cheaper substitutes to see you through until the end of the month but, while there are some great budget beauty buys out there, I’ve learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to scrimp on the products you really love.

While my favourite hair and skin essentials do chop and change over time, these are some of my current go-to products that make me feel (and hopefully look) fabulous:

1.Kérastase Resistance Ciment Anti-usure conditioner. A nourishing treatment conditioner that’s perfect for dry, highlighted hair like mine.

2. Kérastase Specifique Bain Exfoliant Hydratant shampoo. I have a very dry scalp and my hairdresser recommended this shampoo which has really helped.

3. Super Facialist Neroli Firming Daily Brightening Cleanser by Una Brennan . This cleanser is great value and lives up to its name, making skin look brighter and refreshes.

4. Dr Jart+ Platinum BB Beauty Balm. I was very late to jump on the BB bandwagon but after trying this cream I am definitely a convert. With great coverage and texture, it is easy to apply, lasts all day and has a 30 SPF.

5. Paul Mitchell Forever Blonde Dramatic Repair. Again, this leave-in spray was recommended by my hairdresser and has quickly become a regular fixture in my haircare line-up.

6, 7 and 9. I swear by the day and night Hyaluron Filler creams by Eucerin, the products make a real difference to my skin and don’t break the bank. As an extra bonus, this time a small bottle of serum was included with the night cream.

8. No 7 Lift & Luminate Eye Cream. I only recently started using an eye cream so I can’t say that this one is a firm favourite yet but my initial impression is good. It has a light texture and sinks into the skin quickly.

I’m all a buzz about Marc Jacobs upcoming perfume launch

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In an industry like fashion – which could be deemed by some to be rather, ahem, superficial – it”s important to keep a sense of humour to prevent your head from disappearing up the proverbial. One designer who manages this better than most in my opinion is Marc Jacobs. Everything he touches is fashion nirvana while still retaining a sense of fun and the unexpected, from the graffiti bags he designed for Louis Vuitton to the adverts for his eponymous collection starring the one and only Victoria Beckham.

When I was working full time I would splash out on a piece of MJ every now then, although to be truthful most of my purchases were from his slightly less expensive diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs. My most recent buy was a Classic Q Baby Groovee bag in black – a great bag which is big enough to hold all your essentials without feeling like you’re lugging everything but the kitchen sink on your shoulder.

I’m really excited about the launch this summer of the designer’s fourth perfume. Called Honey, it will be in store in July and seriously is worth buying for the bottle alone, which has to be the cutest design ever. Marc Jacob’s Daisy fragrance is my fool proof daytime perfume while Lola, with its slightly heavier scent, is perfect for nights out. For some reason I haven’t tried Dot, which was the most recent launch and has the most similar bottle design to the forthcoming Honey.

Also on my radar is the news that Marc Jacob’s make up line, created together with cosmetics retailer Sephora, will hit the shelves this autumn. Watch this space…

Currently Coveting: Let there be Light

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A light bulb might seem like a strange thing to lust after but Diamond Lights is no ordinary halogen bulb. Scandinavian product designer Eric Therner wanted to create a light bulb that was both functional and looked like a beautiful sculpture. When Diamond Lights  is combined with the textile cord by Frama (with a choice of four different sockets) the result is a stylish lamp with an industrial feel that looks good both on its own or in a cluster of several bulbs.

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I would love to have this light bulb hanging above one of our living room sofas to create a cosy reading corner but was struggling to think of a way to attach it to the wall until I came across this picture of a similar lamp draped around a simple shelf bracket.

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The Diamond Lights is available from Rocket St George.

I can’t seem to find the Frama cord anywhere in the UK but it is available from Swedish website Lanna Mobler which ships internationally.

Party time for young and old(er)!

Party Collage

Much like the run-up to Christmas, the months of June and July are prime time for social gatherings and the calendar is already filling up with summer parties and birthday celebrations. There is not much that beats a glass of Pimm’s or two in the company of good friends on a balmy summer’s evening (hopefully a few warm days will be coming our way again!)

We have three parties lined up in the next few weeks and, having booked the babysitters, I can now concentrate on the more fun dilemma of deciding what to wear. As all three events will be attended by the same crowd of friends I want to vary my outfits without spending a fortune on new things. You can’t go wrong with an LBD and my go-to party outfits for this time of year are a short-sleeved knee-length black dress and a strapless maxi dress, both from Asos. Neither of them cost much but they are wonderfully versatile and work for both day and night.

I couldn’t quite stop myself from splashing out on a couple of new things though…As one of the parties is in a local riverside pub I thought this white sleeveless blouse from H&M would look good teamed with a pair of jeans and these neon heels and gold clutch from New Look. The bracelet is also from H&M and a steal for only £2.99, proving that you can easily update your party look without busting the budget.

We also have our own reason to celebrate in a few weeks’ time when Clemmie turns three. As she’s not at pre-school yet, I think I can get away with a smaller party at home with close friends and family. She’s the only family member with a summer birthday so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can make use of the garden. I have found loads of cute party invitations, decorations and going-home bags online, but I think I will show those in a separate post when I have more time.