Born to be wild

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Being the beauty junkie that I am, I quite often find myself watching online tutorials (hair/makeup/nails etc etc) vainly trying to recreate something that seems fairly simple, but in reality is actually very bloody difficult. For example, there are literally hundreds of 'simple smokey eye' tutorials out there, yet no matter how hard I try, no matter which products I use and how much blending I do, I end up looking less sultry, sexy chic and more prostitute panda. Maybe it's my makeup, maybe it's my eyes or maybe I'm just not made to apply makeup in a 'smokey' manner, but generally online tutorials and I just don't mix.

However, on Friday, I learned a wonderful thing. A thing so wonderful, I may put it up there with the other really important things I've learned in my life, such as the alphabet and the names of all of Santa's reindeer. On Friday, I learned how to do this!

That's MY hand! And those are MY nails! And they're leopard print!!! (Well... kind of)

[Products used - base coat - Rimmel Nail Rescue, colours - Barry M Nail Paint in Turquoise, Collection 2000 Hot Looks in Hula Hoop, detail - Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Eyeliner in Black and top coat - Rimmel Lasting Finish in Natural]

Believe me, it's incredibly easy, albeit slightly fiddly. The full tutorial is HERE on Gem Fatale's blog; (which is brilliant by the way) all you need is a couple of different colours of nail varnish, a top coat and a liquid eyeliner for the detail! Yeah! An eyeliner! GENIUS!!!

I got so leopard print happy I also did Liv's -

This is just a random photo she Tweeted - not great quality I know, but you get the idea. [Products used - same as above for base coat, top coat and eyeliner, colours - Barry M Nail Paint in Grey and 17 Fast Finish Nail Polish in Baked Cherry]

I think this is going to be the start of an obsession for decorated nails. It's such a great idea because leopard spots are completely random anyway, so they don't have to be particularly neat. Plus, you can do so many colour combinations! After sporting the blue and pink all weekend, I've just redone my nails in the more traditional leopard print colours, using Chanel Particuliere and Sleek Nailed Polish in Brownie;

Argh, I love it!

Believe me, if a buffoon like me can do it, anybody can! Let me know if you try it out or send me a picture!

Right, good. Time for Desperate Housewives...

"Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me..."

Is it bad that it's ten past four on Sunday afternoon and I just climbed back into bed after doing nothing all day but watch Gilmore Girls and Marilyn Monroe films? Nah, I didn't think so either, I mean Sunday is the day of rest after all. And believe you me, I am feeling mighty rested!

It'd all be very relaxing except someone decided to buy their delinquent teenage offspring one of those stupid mini motorbike things and the little shit has been riding it up and down my street for the past hour. How much entertainment can you get from riding up and down one street over and over again?! He's not even going anywhere! I can literally hear the bike go past my house, down the road a bit, turn around and come back. I can't even begin to describe how irritating it is.

I hope the mini motorbike bursts into flames.

I don't necessarily want the rider to also burst into flames, just the motorbike, as that's what's making the noise. But if he were to get caught in the flames too, I can't say I'd feel that bad about it...

That is, of course, a terrible thing to say. I do not wish death by burning upon anyone. Honest.

Anyway, *deep healing breaths*, on Tuesday, Liv was in a fashion show for a vintage store in Liverpool called Flashback Boutique. I've never been particularly fussed on vintage stuff; I don't mind vintage accessories, such as scarves or belts but generally, I find a lot of vintage stores are just full of naff polyester dresses that are ill-fitting, stained or smell a bit questionable. However, I'm sure that, amongst all the random crap, there is quite often some hidden gems to be found. I just never have the patience to go rooting around for them.

Fortunately, Flashback Boutique made it easy for their customers, by picking out lots of the good stuff and showcasing it at their "Vintage Party". Unlike most fashion shows, where a collection is all based around some kind of theme, this show had several sections to it, each with a different theme, I guess this was because there was just so much stuff to show off but they still wanted there to be some kind of order to the show. So, for example, there was a section that was all nautical inspired and another section for evening wear.

Amongst the inevitable selection of cute printed tea dresses and batwing jumpers, there was also some more unusual pieces; after seeing the long double-breasted jackets worn as dresses below, I'm really desperate to get hold of one myself;

What I also really liked about the show was the hair and makeup. Sticking with the idea of everything being vintage, all the models wore "victory rolls" and lots of flicked out liquid eyeliner. Very 1940s pin-up, which I'm LOVING at the moment. I've been trying to recreate the rolls all weekend. It's so tricky! Especially the rolled-fringe like the one on the dark haired girl above. If anyone has any good tips or tricks, please let me know!

Photos by Martyn Randles.

There's also some lovely backstage shots by Katherine Oliver here

Liv wore four different outfits; sadly I can't find a photo of my favourite one, which was a navy and red spotted tea dress, but her favourite was this pink sequined jacket, which was one of the final looks in the show.

I've only got this really crappy image of the back of it, which I took on my phone, but as you can see it goes right down into a tailcoat type thing. Perhaps a gay ringmaster used to own it...

Also, while we were there, we both got snapped by a lady who works for a website called Fashion Finds. Basically, it's like a street style blog, but they provide links and details about where you can buy the items in the pictures. Nobody's ever asked to take my picture because they liked what I was wearing, so I was quite flattered. I was wearing a new maxi dress from New Look and the Big Ben earrings I mentioned in my earrings post last week - glad to see they're getting the appreciation they deserve!

I look a bit scared in the photo, because when the lady asked to take my picture, this big group of girls all stopped talking and just stared at me, so I felt really self-conscious. I'm not great at getting my photo taken at the best of times, so if there's a load of people watching it's bound to be a disaster! Silly I know, but I felt like they were all judging me!

Here's Liv looking a bit more relaxed than me.

If you come from Liverpool or are just interested in street style, mozy on over to Fashion Finds - it shows just how creative and diverse fashion in Liverpool has become. It's not ALL fake tan and blonde hair you know!

Flashback Boutique is based on Whitechapel in Liverpool city centre, but also has on online store, here.

My ears are ringin'

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Is it just me, or does Sunday come around WAY too fast? It’s like, your weekend starts, you’re all excited about getting the chance to relax and unwind, enjoy the sunshine (seriously, how much are you LOVING this weather?!), have some laughs and then, before you know it, it’s Sunday evening and you’re getting ready for work the next day. Bleurgh! This weekend feels like it’s been particularly unproductive for me, because I spent a good deal of it chasing round after an extremely troublesome ginger cat.

He's being stealthy

My sister has named him Balthazar. I don’t know where he came from, but he’s been hanging around our street for about a week and he doesn’t have a collar. On Friday, the neighbourhood children were chasing him and he looked really scared, so I had to tell them off. He obviously recognized me as his saviour because I was woken up by him yesterday morning at half 7; I looked out of the window and there he was, sitting on the drive, staring up at me and meowing. It sounded like he was saying “Franki!” So he’s kind of spent the weekend chilling in the garden, getting up to mischief and generally being cute. There was a scary moment on Saturday morning when he climbed up a very tall tree and angered some magpies, but he was ok. Silly Balthazar. We think he might be lost because he seems a bit confused, so I think the plan is to take him to the vet tomorrow to find out if he has a microchip. If anyone in the West Derby area of Liverpool is missing a very pretty, very vocal ginger cat, this is probably him!

Anyway, that’s not really anything to do with anything, it’s just my pet-deprived inner-five-year-old wanting to tell you about the cute kitty. I thought I’d do a post today about another one of my obsessions...


This is my current collection of earrings, twenty two pairs (notice how many big, jangly ones there are? I’m secretly a gypsy), although that’s not counting some of the older pairs that I don’t really wear anymore and are in a different jewellery box and all the single ones I’ve kept hold of even though I’ve lost their partners (don’t you just HATE it when you lose an earring? Especially when you’re actually wearing them and one just sneakily falls out!). They're pretty much all cheap ones from the high street or random little jewellery shops; nothing crazy expensive because, like I said, I have been known to lose them quite easily. My absolute favourites at the moment are these Big Ben ones from Topshop;

I would love it if these actually had working clocks in them, imagine "Have you got the time?" "Yes, let me just check my ears!"

I didn’t actually get my ears pierced until I was 14, which is quite old, considering my little sister and I had them done at the same time and she was only 7. Even though you’re supposed to keep your studs in for about six weeks afterwards, I took mine out a couple of weeks later because we had a none-uniform day at school and my friend convinced me to wear a massive pair of hoops. Despite the fact that my ears actually bled and the earrings were really heavy, I thought the hoops looked fabulous and soon I was obsessed with earrings (thinking back, how utterly stupid was I? Bleeding ears and I thought it looked wonderful! Teenagers are such idiots...)
In my opinion, earrings are one of those things that haven’t really had their “moment” in fashion for some time. I know "statement jewellery" in general has been really popular for a while now, but, browsing through some images from the Spring runway shows, the majority of designers went with statement necklaces and rings more than anything else. Apart from a brief flirtation with chandelier earrings a little while back, I don’t think the fashion world has really been bothered with earrings since, well, I don’t know when, the 80s?!
I wonder if it’s because a lot of people seem to focus more on hair nowadays, and they don’t want a big pair of crazy earrings drawing attention away from the hair? Or maybe big hair AND big earrings can seem like overkill?
I don’t know, nor do I really care; let the fashionistas have their cocktail rings and bejewelled bibs, I’ll stick with my jingly jangly earrings, for I love them and would choose them over any other piece of jewellery. I can’t explain why, but I really think they make your face look better. (it might be because I have a really big face, so big earrings maybe make it seem smaller!)They also draw attention to your eyes and make your neck look more slender if you wear them with your hair up. Plus, a really plain outfit becomes ten times more interesting if you add a funky pair of earrings. I think you get the point, I am an earring junkie.
Thought I'd have a little look at what sort of ear decor is available online at the moment, and there is a lot out there; lots of variation in sizes, shapes, materials and colours. I suppose that's the beauty of jewellery design, there's not really any rules or limitations to what can be created.

Here's a few of my favourite finds;

'First Kiss' Earrings, $28 Old Gold Boutique
Pink Swarovski Skull Earrings, £29 Talullah Tu

Pearl Statement Chandelier Earrings, £24 Talullah Tu. Seriously, check out the Talullah Tu website, all of the jewellery is beautiful!
Roberto Cavalli Swarovski Frog Earrings, £365 Net-A-Porter. Yeah so £365 is an insane amount to pay for earrings, but I just had to share these! Swarovski froggies!

Turquoise Freshwater Pearl Dagger Earrings, £8.50 Gimme That Thing, Folksy

By the way, if you haven't already come across it, Folksy is a brilliant website which allows people to set up an online store and sell handmade jewellery/clothes/greetings cards etc. There's already an American version, called Etsy, which I think is generally more of a big deal and more people know about it, but Folksy is all UK-based sellers, so, obviously, if you're based in the UK yourself, delivery rates will be much cheaper. I think some sellers actually sell on both sites, but the majority sell on either one or the other, (depending on where they're from), so you will find stuff on one site that you can't get on the other. Even so, there is literally thousands of items for sale, I could spend hours on there browsing through all the different stores. In addition to the turquoise earrings above, I found so many other gorgeous pieces, from dangly, beaded earrings, to vintage ones, to cute and quirky little studs. I even a found a pair that was literally two tiny Polly Pocket figurines attached to ear hooks! It's a sure-fire way of finding a really unique piece of jewellery for a reasonable price.

Diamond girl who could talk for hours

Sunday, 11 April 2010

On Friday, I headed into town just to buy a couple of things that I actually needed, but then did my usual trick of suddenly remembering that I have money again and spent a whole lot more of it than I should have done. I think I've mentioned it before, but one of the shops I should never be allowed into EVER is HMV. There is always some kind of sale or offer on and, because I'm obsessed with buying DVDs, I quite often end up standing in there for an hour, pondering over which 4 DVDs to get for £20. I went in to buy the Paloma Faith album, which I've been meaning to buy for a while, but somehow managed to leave with both the album and this;

To be fair, because of all the saleness, both the album and boxset only came to £22, which is pretty good when you consider the boxset contains 7 DVDs. However, at this point I had already spent a good deal of money in Boots, bought two pairs of shoes in Primark AND owed Liv money for the Particuliere, so I probably could have done without the trip to HMV. But let's not worry too much about my scary spending habits and instead focus on lovely, lovely Marilyn. I briefly mentioned my love for Marilyn here; she is definitely my favourite Hollywood icon. My sister and I had an argument about her the other day as Liv favours Audrey Hepburn and thinks that watching any Marilyn film is painful because she was such a bad actress. I, of course disagree in a big way; I honestly think she had the most amazing screen presence and a brilliant sense of humour. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot are two of my absolute favourite films, I just find myself smiling all the way through them. The boxset I bought is actually Volume Two of "The Collection", they didn't have Volume One, but I'll no doubt buy it at some point. As I said, it contains 7 DVDs, most of which are Marilyn films I've not seen before, so I plan to work my way through them over the next few weeks and enjoy a bit of old Hollywood glamour and sexist stereotyping. Lovely.

Yesterday, I watched How To Marry A Millionaire, the title says it all; it's about three models who are on a mission to find rich husbands. (ever noticed how many Marilyn films involve her trying to find a rich husband?! She's certainly not the best example of a strong, independant woman, but I guess that's old-Hollywood for you...) Marilyn, playing Pola Debevoise, probably has the smallest part of the three leads; (the others are Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable) the main angle of her storyline is that she needs to wear glasses because her eyesight is so poor, but refuses to let men see her wearing them, (because "men aren't attentive to girls who wear glasses" apparently) so spends a large part of the movie bumping into things. Fortunately, love conquers all and she meets a man who finds her more attractive with her glasses on and they get married. And he doesn't even have any money. Well done Pola, well done.

As with all of these old movies, the fashion is fabulous and Marilyn looks stunning throughout;

Marilyn as Pola, Lauren as Schatze and Betty as Loco. For some reason they all have really weird names...

They both wear glasses! It's a match made in Heaven!

I think these specs are adorable, I'm very tempted to get some myself.

As well as all the incredible clothes, I always find myself distracted by the hair and makeup in old movies. It was always so sophisticated; hair was coiffed and curled to perfection and the makeup was simple but sexy, with fluttery lashes and bold red lips. I love how this trend for 40s and 50s styling is making a comeback today, with a lot of stars choosing to go for old-Hollywood glamour when on the red carpet at various events (think Christina Hendricks at the Golden Globes and Cameron Diaz at the Oscars). This look has also become really popular with the rise of Burlesque, with people like Dita Von Teese championing the classic glamour of the 40s; porcelain skin, strong, sculpted brows and flawless hair.

Even though, at first glance, this look appears to be quite minimal and simplistic, I'd imagine there's actually a lot of work involved, especially with the hair. Dita is never seen looking anything other than immaculate, so imagine how long it must take her to get ready in the morning!

Someone else who embraces the whole burlesque/old-school glamour look, though she brings a distinctly modern twist to it, is Paloma Faith. As I said, I've just bought her new album and I thought I'd share the photos from it because I think the styling is just beautiful.

The album cover is probably my least favourite of all the images but those tattoos are very Chanel. In fact, her album was released before the Chanel show took place so you could say that she's the one who set the trend...

Excellent eyebrows, Paloma, truly excellent.

Just hanging about in the grass with her accordion, you know how it is.

These are my two favourites I think. The hair is gorgeous - I find it so difficult to create loose waves like that. Any tips?

Wow, I didn't intend for this post to be so long, it was originally going to just be about Paloma (isn't that a nice name by the way? I may call my first child Paloma, regardless of whether it's a boy or a girl...) with just a brief mention of Marilyn, but ah well, this is what happens when it's a Sunday morning and there are so many pretty pictures out there!

All Paloma images are scans from the album "Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?" which I thoroughly recommend! The Marilyn and Dita images were all found on Google.

Particularly peculiar

Saturday, 10 April 2010

I've been a bit rubbish on the blog front of late. The main reason for this is that I'm three weeks into a new job which mainly involves me spending a large amount of time in front of a computer. Sadly, when I get home after a long day at the office (haha I work in an office now, never thought I'd see the day!), the last thing I want to do is spend more time staring at a computer screen. Obviously, for this blog to actually exist, I have to spend SOME time in front of a computer screen as, contrary to popular belief, these things don't write themselves (seriously, they don't, I've had a chat with my laptop about it and he's just not interested) so I'm going to just have to man up and accept the fact that I'm slowly destroying my eyes. So yeah, regular blogging will recommence soon, je promise. I've got so much to write about too! There's a list of ideas and photographs and all sorts!

Anyway, all that nonsense aside, tonight I wanted to talk about something that (for me at least) is a bit exciting. Recently, I've been ALL ABOUT the nail varnish; this started because I've always bitten my nails, ever since I was a VERY little curly girl, but one of the things that would dissuade me a bit from biting them was painting them nicely. So I figured I'd buy lots of colourful nail varnishes in the hope that my prettily painted nails would subdue my bitey bitey urges. It seems to have done the trick and I can officially say I'm a nail biter no more. Hurrah! Even though I've quit the habit, I still keep them painted most of the time, just because I think they look a bit more interesting and because there's SO MANY exciting colours available! I've been wearing an incredibly vibrant shade of light blue all week and, honestly, it really cheers me up to look down and see my lovely blue nails smiling back at me! (they don't literally smile, that would be terrifying.)

I've been using mainly cheap nail varnishes, such as Barry M and Collection 2000 because I like to have a wide range of colours to choose from so it obviously makes more sense to stick to the cheap and cheerful brands. However, on Thursday, my sister got a call from the Chanel counter in the Liverpool branch of John Lewis saying that they'd just got a new batch of Particuliere in. Now, just to clarify, my sister was on a waiting list for Particuliere; Chanel don't phone her up every time they get something new in, we're not that fancy in my family! Now, as you know, as much as I'd like to be, I am NOT the kind of person who would usually spend a silly amount of money on something so frivolous, and in my book, £16 for a bottle of nail varnish is definitely frivolous. However, Particuliere is pretty much the biggest nail varnish this season and has been virtually impossible to get a hold of. So when I heard that Liv was going to buy a bottle, I asked her to see if she could get me one as well. Lo and behold she did!

Have you ever tried to take a photograph of your own hand? It is more difficult than you'd expect.

Now I can imagine some people going "£16 on a bottle of dark baige nail varnish?! Franki, are you completely insane???" and the answer to that question is probably yes. But my reasoning for this is as follows;

  • I've just started a new job so can justify treating myself a bit,
  • It really is a very lovely, flattering colour and I've wanted it for ages
  • If I'd been able to find a similar, cheaper alternative, I would probably have bought that instead, but I've not seen anything that's even vaguely similar.
  • It's been selling out like crazy all over the place so it's quite exciting to say I own a product that's so in demand
  • It's probably the only Chanel item I'll own for a very long time. Hopefully when I'm rich and successful (doing God only knows what) I'll be able to splash out on Chanel coats and bags and things, but for now, my little bottle of Particuliere will do.

LOOK! The models wore it on the Spring 2010 catwalk! I own something that's been seen on a Chanel catwalk!

I was very tempted to buy a second bottle to sell on eBay, because it's selling for WAY above the RRP, but I didn't get the chance to go into John Lewis when I was in town yesterday, and it's very probably sold out again now. Plus, I don't think Karl Lagerfeld would ever want to be my friend if he knew I was selling his wares on eBay, it just doesn't seem right somehow...

To be perfectly honest, I was expecting a lot for £16 but apart from the lovely colour, there's nothing really special about it. I mean, it's easy to apply and has a really good, smooth finish, but one of my nails chipped after a day and I'm pretty sure I hadn't done anything crazy with my hands. If I'd been playing the guitar or grating cheese or something, I'd accept it, but I'd literally done nothing! Maybe I should have applied a top coat to protect it, but then you think, for £16 it shouldn't really need a top coat, should it? I probably won't be buying any more Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour any time soon, because, let's face it, having fancy nails is great but I'd much rather spend my money on clothes and chocolate, but it is nice to be the owner of something a bit luxurious for once. Saying that though, Nouvelle Vague is really pretty...


Friday, 2 April 2010

Cycle 14 of America's Next Top Model is well underway (seriously, FOURTEEN! And they've started casting for Cycle 15. It only started in 2003 and there's been 14 seasons! How does Tyra have time to do anything else?!) and all I can say is


If more people had eyebrows like this, the world would be a better place.

( Images from

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...