from now on you can call me Mystic Meg

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Ok, now I don't want to show off here, but, well I'm going to - I totally predicted this.

Back in March, I did a post about the Chanel temporary tattoos and suggested that high street stores such as Topshop and Urban Outfitters might take inspiration from them and bring out their own ranges. And they have!!!

This clearly means that I am psychic.

Except, not really, obviously, because this is just how fashion works - high street stores always copy take inspiration from the high-end designers. But still, I'm quite excited that the two shops I mentioned are the ones that have actually done it. I just had a quick browse through some other online stores (Miss Selfridge, New Look, H&M and ASOS) and can't find any other tattoos, though I'm sure they'll follow suit soon.

The Topshop ones are very clearly inspired by Chanel; some of the designs include birds (now I'm no ornithologist, but I'm pretty sure they're swallows), flowers and strips of chains. Funnily enough, the Chanel tattoos also had swallows, flowers and strips of chains. However, the Chanel ones were very pretty and feminine whereas I'd say the Topshop ones are little more edgy and kind of 'rock and roll' (if that's the right way to describe them - hopefully you can see what I mean from the pictures) There's five different sets available (some packs contain several small tattoos and some just contain one large one), and they're priced between £4 and £6.50.

images from

The Urban Outfitters tattoos are very different. Firstly they can only loosely be described as 'tattoos' as they're more like body stickers. They remind me a bit of those crystal tattoos everyone went mad for in the late 90s/early 00s. There's also only two designs available; a butterfly and a bunch of flowers. They're very pretty and sparkly and they're available in white, black and gold - I can see them being popular with festival-goers. Only problem is, Urban Outfitters have done their usual trick of going "right, new product, very pretty, quite eyecatching actually. Let's price it at something ridiculous!" The butterfly costs £14 and the flowers cost £18.

£18 for a glittery sticker?!

Sorry Urban Outfitters, but you just lost me. I know the Chanel ones were about £50, but there was loads of designs in the pack. And they were frikkin' Chanel! Anyway, maybe I'm just being a bit of a tightwad, what do you think? Would you pay £14 and £18 for these babies?

images from

Anyway, next chance I get, I'm heading to Topshop to get my hands on a pack - I'm particularly drawn to the chains. What do you think? Will you be sporting temporary tattoos this summer? And which do you prefer Topshop or Urban Outfitters?

when I look to you, you look so bored

Despite the fact that I get irrationally angry with Zooey Deschanel's character in (500) days of Summer (says a lot about my past relationships I think), I do love her quite a lot. She's just so darn cute and cool and pretty and has nice hair and wears lovely clothes AND she can sing! In fact, have you ever noticed how many of her films she sings in? Well I've not counted, but it's a lot of them. In fact she sings so well, that's she's even in a band. If you don't already know about them, they're called She & Him - it's just Zooey and a guy called Matt Ward and the sound is kind of gentle, folky pop. What I really like about them is that everything's very simple. By simple I mean, they're just very much 'about the music'. And I mean that in the least pretentious way possible. There's not a lot of production on their tracks, it's mostly just voices and instruments; maybe it makes me sound like an old woman, but most of the time I hate when artists do loads of post-production on songs and use all that computery/technical/synthy stuff (see how I really know what I'm talking about here?) - why can't they just sing?! Anyway, She & Him's sound is very pure and Zooey's voice is dreamy. Also, she and Matt do most of the backing vocals themselves too - they're very good at harmonies (something which always impresses me, because I'm pretty shit at them). Also, their two albums are simply called Volume One and Volume Two. And they don't have a load of posey photos in their album sleeves - they're just illustrated with cute, whimsical drawings (not that I have an issue with artists being pictured on their own records - it wasn't that long ago I was gushing over Paloma Faith's album images). And the actual CD itself just comes in a little card sleeve, rather than a plastic case. See what I mean? It's all very simple. Just music for the sake of music. There's something very refreshing about that, don't you think?

Cover and insert from Volume One, designed by Maggie Fost

Cover from Volume Two, designed by Kate Quinby

Anyway, if you do nothing else this evening, watch this video - I defy you not to love Zooey!


Saturday, 29 May 2010

Now that the sun has well and truly buggered off again, I can finally catch up on my blogging shenanigans. Like I said on Monday, I've got lots to talk about so I'm going to try to do several posts over the next few days. We'll see how it goes.

Three years ago, my parents gave me a camera for Christmas. It's not one of those fancy Nikon or Canon ones with the big zoom lens or anything like that, it's just a standard, automatic digital camera, Samsung Digimax to be exact, 7.2 mega pixels, I don't really know what that means. Anyay, my mum told me that it can actually do some cool stuff, and it does have lots of settings, but since I lost the instruction booklet and have absolutely no clue when it comes to photography, (what the hell's an ISO?) I've pretty much only ever used it to take photos of friends etc on nights out.

I decided, about a month or so ago, to mess about with the camera in my garden as the sun was shining and the flowers looked pretty, and by randomly kind of pressing buttons and fiddling with the different numbers (which still mean nothing to me) I ended up with some reasonably ok-ish photos. Like I said, I'm no photographer, I have no idea about this stuff - a photo is either interesting/pretty or it isn't, but I'm quite proud of these shots;

See, pretty right? Right?!

Only problem is, because I was just pressing stuff at random, I don't really remember what I did and any close-ups or arty shots I've attempted since then have ended up being a blurry mess.

Until today!

I've been taking photos of my nails alot recently, because I've become a bit obsessed with nail art and have been trying lots of new things, but most of the images have ended up being blurry or too flashy (notice my expert use of photography lingo) and therefore rubbish. Earlier today though, I pressed this little button with a picture of a flower on it and voila! Super-detailed close-up!

I couldn't decide what colour to wear, so I just put them all on!

(Colours used - Chanel Le Vernis in Particuliere, Barry M Nail Paint in Grey, Turquoise, Pink Flamingo and Mint Green, 17 Lasting Fix in Parma Violet and Topshop Nails in Stolen Sapphires)

I'm sure you can get even better detail with a really fancy camera, but for a three-year-old standard digicam, I'm pretty pleased with this!

The nails were inspired by Dusky Ledoux's Monet-style nails, which were in turn inspired by Gem Fatale's creations, which were inspired by the geniuses (genii?) at WAH Nails.

Basically, nail art is like, totally everywhere, yeah?

what a saga

Monday, 24 May 2010

Sorry for the lack of blogging this week - since the UK gets about 3 1/2 days of sunshine a year, I had to make the most of it by spending as much time outside as possible. And as much as I like the idea of blogging al fresco, I can never see anything on the laptop screen when the sun's all bright and lovely, so it's just a no-go.

Anyway, I promise regular blogging will recommence very soon. I've got so much to talk about!

I'm actually posting this from work; THAT'S how committed I am to this here blog. (and how unwilling I am to do work right now...)

I was watching Twilight last night and just wanted to re-assert my stance on Edward Cullen not being all that and a bag of chips. Now I do think that Robert Pattinson in real life is actually quite handsome, but the way he pansies about in Twilight with his anaemic face and constant expression of being on the verge of vomiting does nothing for me whatsoever. There, I've said it. Now, according to die-hard fans (that's serious fans of Twilight, not fans of the Bruce Willis movie, Die Hard...) I need to read the books in order to fully understand how great he is. So maybe I'll read them, just to give the poor bloke another chance. But until then, I leave you with this image;

Wendell from The Simpsons & Edward Cullen - same pale skin, same silly hair, same queasy- looking face - you heard it here first, folks; they're clearly the same person.

The Wild One

Sunday, 16 May 2010

I was reading an old issue of the Times Magazine earlier (we tend to accumulate a pile of them in the kitchen and I'll just rifle through them at random) and I suddenly thought;
how SEXY was Marlon Brando?!

I've suddenly got an urge to watch A Streetcar Named Desire - "STELLAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Scans from The Times Magazine (3/4/10) - I'm a bit scan-happy at the moment, I think it's because the scanner is one of the few computer-y things I can actually work.

Pin me up

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Remember how Liv was in the Flashback Boutique fashion show where everyone had their hair styled with faux bangs and victory rolls? Well yesterday I decided I'd give it a go and after several tries and a fair bit of frustration, I managed to achieve this;

I don't know why I decided to pull that face - I think I was trying to go for 'cheeky pin-up girl', but I just look a bit like I'm going to be sick don't I?

If this look wasn't so tricky, I would wear it all the time, because I love it, but it really is very fiddly. I don't have a fringe, so I just used the front section of my hair, and the fact that my hair is quite long probably made it even trickier, as the key is trying to keep all the hair together in one big roll, and obviously, the more hair there is, the more difficult it gets. I used this tutorial, by Iris, whose youtube channel, ilovegerardo features loads of brilliant hair tutorials and lots of variations on pin up hair.

I guess it's one of those things that gets easier the more you do it, so I'll definitely be giving it another go. It definitely helps to curl your hair with a wide barrel tong first, to make it a bit easier to roll, and you need lots of hairspray to tidy any stray hairs.

It stayed in really well, considering it was quite windy yesterday. I did get a few funny looks, which I found quite ironic as it is currently a social norm in Liverpool for girls to happily wander round town on a Saturday afternoon with a head full of velcro rollers (I'm not joking), and nobody bats an eyelid. Seriously, a head full of rolls vs one roll? How am I the one who looks silly in that scenario?

Top of the shops (part 2)

We've already established that I'm a big Topshop fan. We also know that I'm obsessed with makeup. So now that Topshop's brought out it's own makeup range, I have to admit, I am a bit worried that any money I ever earn from this point onwards is quite likely to go on cute eyeshadows, nail varnishes and lipsticks.

I went in yesterday just to have a little look. I'd read a couple of reviews and people were saying mixed things, so I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I have to admit, it's a really good little collection. There's a great range of products; lipsticks and glosses, eyeshadows, blushers, mascaras, bronzers, highlighters, pretty much everything you'd need really. The colour selection is varied and unusual, especially amongst the eyeshadows and nail varnishes, which I'm very excited about. I read somewhere that there wasn't many lipstick colours to choose from, which is true, I think there's only six, but they're all really good colours and there is also a selection of lipglosses and 'polishes' which seem quite heavily pigmented and vibrant so there is a lot of lip colours available, they're just not all in the form of lipsticks.

The prices are very reasonable, everything is (I think) £10 or less and most items are around £5/£6. You can see the full collection here on the Topshop website.

One of the big selling points is the packaging, which is really cute and very Topshop; trendy but in a kind of whimsical way - everything is decorated in sketchy polka dots and stripes. From what I can gather, there's a kind of basic collection and then there's extra stuff, which is in the SS10 Trend section, so I guess they'll keep adding to the range each season.

I allowed myself to buy one item, but there's no doubt I'll be buying more very soon. I decided to go for an eye Crayon in Sun Shower, which is part of the SS10 Trend stuff. It cost £7 and is absolutely gorgeous.

Not a great shot, but I just wanted to show the cute little bag it came in!

Here's a better image, from the website. There's also a silver eye Crayon, called Moonshine, which I'm also tempted to get.

The Crayon can be used as an eyeliner or an all over shadow, I'm wearing it today and I'm very impressed. Sometimes 'crayon' products like this can be a bit too hard and drag when you apply them, but this is really soft so it goes on and blends very easily. The colour pay off is excellent and it gives a really gorgeous metallic sheen. It does crease a bit, but all products of this nature do tend to crease anyway, and it's lasted all day, so all in all, I'm really pleased with it.

Hope you can get an idea of the colour from this picture - I blended it a bit, but you can build it up to get a more intense, gold effect. It's lovely!

These are some of the other products I've got my eye on;

Glitter in Gilt, Eyeshadow Duo in Oopsy Daisy and Nails in The Big Easy

All product images from

Top of the shops (part 1)

So I know the prices are going up at an alarming rate (oh hello cotton tee-shirt, what's that? £45 you say? Bye then."), and it is probably the number one retail haunt for every other person in the UK who wears clothes, but Topshop really is one of my favourite stores. Ok, maybe I should be more adventurous and shop more in vintage shops, or markets or charity shops or quirky boutiques or just make my clothes out of stuff I find lying around the house, like bin bags and sponges, but quite frankly I haven't got time for all that and anyway, you mad little spaniel, sponges are unhygienic. But, you see, with Topshop, there is always something in there that I want to buy. Always. I suppose this is partly because the one in Liverpool is now so frighteningly massive that there has to something amongst the endless number of jeans and tops and spangly pieces of nylon and jersey dresses and fancy shoes and embellished blazers and magical, whimsical, cheeky little trinkets that I want to by. It's just simple maths really. But you know what else is simple maths? That fact that I'm just a poor boy girl from a poor family and try as I might, I can't get the Topshop staff to give me stuff for free. So I only ever go in there if I've just been paid or there's a sale on.

Fortunately for me, Topshop just had a ma-HOO-sive sale so I managed to buy quite a few little lovelies without having to sell my little sister into slavery to be able to afford them. (not that I'd ever do that...)

Here's what I bought;

A really big ring!

These earrings that look like the wings of a fly! (In a nice way, not in a dirty, disease-spreading way)

This top - nude and purple and polka dots and a big bow all in one?! Yeah, I know, this is the best thing ever.

[NB Every time I post pictures of myself on here, I seem to have straightened my hair. I fear that I'm going to get into trouble with the trading standards people for false advertising. Honestly, I promise, I am a little curly girl most of the time!]

I also bought some purple tights, but you don't need to see a picture of them, they're just tights that are purple.

And all this cost me less than £20! Sale joy! Yesssss!

I realised that the eternal student inside me will always go straight to the sale section of a store first, because, well why wouldn't you? Sales are so frequent nowadays, that it only takes a few weeks for an item to go from full price to having a big red sticker on the label saying "50% off" (oh how I love those red circles). Some people hate sales, because they're messy and sometimes it's just lots of crap that nobody wanted, hence the reason why it now costs 20p, but if you have patience, you can find some marvellous stuff for a fraction of the price. And there really is nothing better than finding something you love and it only costing you a few quid.

So, with all this in mind, I thought I'd put together a guide of how to do the sales properly. Most of it's probably quite obvious, but hopefully some of it might come in useful.

The little curly girl's guide to surviving and succeeding in the sales.


Once you know you're going to the sales, you must make a few decisions beforehand;

- What will you wear? Once you get into full-scale sale madness, things get hot. And then you feel mighty silly for wearing your favourite ski suit don't you? So think comfortable, lightweight and also, easy to change in and out of quickly. If you're going to be trying loads of stuff on, you really don't need to be wearing clothes with lots of buttons or shoes with lots of laces etc. Also, it's worth wearing nice underwear, because firstly, the stuff you try on generally looks better if you're wearing a well-fitting bra and good pants and secondly, there is nothing more depressing than seeing yourself in the changing room mirror, which is unflattering at the best of times, wearing old, mismatching undies. We've all been there.

- How much are you going to spend? Yes, everything is much cheaper than usual, but it's still easy to get carried away. Set yourself a limit and unless you find something that is literally going to change your life forever, do not go over it.

- Is there something specific you want to buy? If you're looking to buy something in particular, for example a coat or a dress, it's worth looking on the website first, to see what's available, that way, you know exactly what you're looking for when you go in. I bought my current coat in the Oxford Street Topshop in January - the sale was INSANE but because I already knew what I wanted, it was much easier to find. Even if you're just going in for a browse, it can be a good idea to have a think beforehand about what you want/need in your wardrobe, otherwise, when you get there, it can be a bit overwhelming and you end up either buying stuff you've already got or leaving with nothing.

The scary part.

- So you've arrived at the sale. There is a sea of frantic women grabbing at garments while dead-eyed sales assistants rush around attempting to tidy. DON'T PANIC! Yes it's mad, yes it's messy, but there are wonders to be found. Be systematic. If there are lots of rails, start at one end and work your way through. The key to sale shopping is patience. If you look properly, you will find something fab. If you rush in, randomly grab stuff from the rails and get frustrated, you will find nothing. That's just how it works.

- When you do find something you like, DO NOT TRUST THE SIZE ON THE HANGER! Always check the label, because quite often, things are put onto the wrong hangers. There is nothing more irritating than getting into the changing rooms, or even worse, getting home, and finding that the lovely size 12 skinnies you found, are actually a size 6. (This is even worse when you don't realise that they're the wrong size until you've actually tried to put them on - "Oh God, how do they not fit? They're a 12! I can't get them past my thighs! Oh this is terrible, how can I be this fat? No... wait they're a size 6. For f*** sake..." and by that point you're so traumatised, you just want to go home and cry)

- Try stuff on. I know some people prefer to just buy things, try them on at home and then take them back if they don't fit, but that to me is more of a hassle than spending a bit of time in the changing room queue. Plus, it's easy to forget to return something and then you end up with a load of stuff you never wear, which is a waste of money. So try before you buy!

- If the shop sells everything, ie clothes, shoes and jewellery, go through the clothes first, try on what you like, then go back and look at the shoes and jewellery. You're not usually allowed to take accessories into the changing rooms because apparently, if alone in a cubicle with a pair of earrings, we all feel the urge to get a bit stealy. You may as well whittle down which clothes you want to buy from the massive pile you've probably accumulated, free up some arm space, then go and decide on accessories.

- Check the things you're going to buy for rips/stains etc. With so much stuff ending up on the floor during a sale, things can get damaged, so save yourself from the disappointment of getting home and finding that the white blazer you just bought has a footprint on the back. Also, if something does have a bit of damage, but it's not very noticeable or easily fixed, you can always ask if the manager will give you some more money off; I know someone who bought an H&M denim jacket for 50p once because it was covered in biro, she washed it and it was as good as new!

Behavioural check.

- Having worked in the Next sale several times when I was younger, experiencing first-hand the trauma of rabid, bargain-hungry women, I know just how soul-destroying it is to spend ages tidying a rail only to turn around and find someone carelessly dragging all the clothes out of it and chucking them about. Yes the sales are always untidy, but you don't have to contribute to the mess! If you drop something on the floor, pick it up! And if you see a sales assistant tidying a rail, don't stand next to her messing up all her tidying! Obviously you can look through the rails, that's what they're there for, you just don't have to act completely mental while you do so.

- Sale rails are quite narrowly packed together, so it can be easy to bump into people while you're trying to manoeuvre amongst them, but if you do, say sorry! And if someone bumps into you, don't get all irrationally angry, it was probably just an accident. Sales can be stressful, but honey, if you can't handle the heat, get out of Topshop - you're ruining it for the rest of us.

- If someone picks something up that you saw first, no matter how lovely it is, you can't fight with them. You just can't. Have a look around for the same garment and if you can't see it, keep an eye on the person - they may put it down again. Ultimately though, it's just a piece of clothing, don't act as though you're life depended on you owning a sequined playsuit because that's just tragic, isn't it?
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