Monday, 25 April 2016

Frill Seeker

Yep, in case you hadn't noticed, SS16 is all about the ruffle... And I just couldn't give this cold-shoulder Primark beaut the cold shoulder when I stumbled across it a couple of weeks ago...

I know everyone else is tempering their frills with raw edge denim and running shoes, but, for me, it would be a crime to bring a top like this into my life and not celebrate with at least one full-on gypsy princess moment... And with rather impressive foresight, I'd invested in this sweet little Miss Selfridge skirt three years ago - who would have guessed they weren't made for each other?!

In other news - Primark's new ghillie flats are even better than last year's versions... and even cheaper... I snapped up this could-be-designer 'snakeskin' pair for £8 - and that's full price, guys. The pictures don't quite do them justice (I'm still acclimatising to the new lens!) but trust me when I say they are one of the best investments you'll make this year.

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Top and Shoes: Both Primark, Skirt: Miss Selfridge (Past Season)

Prefer a bit of rough with your romance? Check out my post for Yahoo! Style for more ways to get your frill on...


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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Beret Nice: Gucci Geek Chic on the Cheap

It's beginning to look a lot like springtime... which can mean only one thing: it's time for me to come out of #OOTD hibernation. If newborn lambs are braving the April temperatures (albeit in slightly cosier outfits), then so must I.

But before we get to the (recycled) outfit, can we please just take a moment to admire my blurry bricks?! Yep, baby got bokeh! I treated myself to a shiny new lens and (finally) found out that all those proclamations about your lens being "more important than your camera" that I'd dismissed as camera fetishist guff for the past three years were true after all... Well, better late than never.

Moving on. This is my attempt at recreating Gucci's "geek chic" look, using items pillaged entirely from my existing wardrobe. Because the idea that, just maybe, pairing one of the five pin-on flowers I have inexplicably managed to accumulate over the past five years with the beret I have only plucked up the courage to wear once in all that time could completely revitalise my wardrobe was just too thrilling to ignore. I really do need the clear lenses to top things off though, don't I..?

In other exciting news, I have just been signed up to blog for Yahoo! Style and, handily enough, my very first post will equip you with everything you need to know to create your own Gucci moment (just in case you don't happen to own a pin-on corsage for all occasions). P.S. All my posts for Yahoo! will also be published on the all the new Sam Muses Tumblr...

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Beret: Accessorize, Blouse: Boohoo, Skirt: ASOS, Shoes and Earrings: Both Primark, Corsage: Not a clue...



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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Going for Gold: Omorovicza Skin Care on Trial

Who knew Cleopatra's beauty trailblazing extended beyond the milk bath biz? Yep, in order to maintain her emperor-slaying complexion, she apparently wore a gold mask to bed. Thankfully, skincare science has moved on a bit over the last couple of millennia and, thanks to the lovely people at Omorovicza, I've spent the past couple of months trialling the 21st century method.

Omorovicza Skin Care, Gold Flash Firming Serum, Review, Beauty Blog, UK Blogger, Gold Collection

Omorovicza's award-winning skincare range uses Nobel Prize winning science to harness the natural healing properties of Budapest's thermal waters (CliffsNotes: the earth's crust is thinner here, so more minerals make it to the surface).

They claim that, in combination with the other vitamins, essential oils and natural elements (including, yes, gold) which make up their products, this magic water can tackle just about any skincare woe you care to throw it at. Could it tame my sensitive, redness-prone complexion?

Well, if you can't quite stretch to a trip to the Omorovicza spa in Hungary, a swipe of the Cleansing Milk is almost enough to take you there (if you close your eyes, at least) - the nourishing, anti-inflammatory combination of jojoba, calendula and shea smells so good that the results are almost beside the point! The knowledge that its trademarked Hydro Mineral Transference system is delivering minerals directly into my skin obvs makes the most luxurious make-up removal experience I've ever known even better, though.

But what you really want to know is whether it's worth Going for (Going for) Gold, right? [Anyone else watch that in the '90s? I don't think I'll ever forget the theme tune. Anyway.] I trialled the Gold Flash Firming Serum and, firstly and arguably most importantly for a £100+ investment, it lasts ages - two months of decidedly immoderate twice-daily application in my case. Does it do what it says on the tin posh glass bottle? Bearing its claim to "heal micro-damage and strengthen skin" in mind, I kept a close eye on my pesky broken capillaries... and... as if by magic, a few days in, they actually started to disappear!

It wasn't quite powerful enough to completely negate the effects of frosty temperatures and central heating on my impish complexion during the tricksy trans-seasonal period we've been 'enjoying' recently, though (although, admittedly, weather which can actually be classified as seasonal is about as common in the UK as flying pigs). Maybe, in combination with some of the other products in the Gold Collection, it would have worked even better. Notwithstanding, it turned out to be a great instant brightening fix for the effects of a sleepless night (or two) and really began to even out my skin tone over time.

Looks like Cleo might have been onto something after all. If you can't fit a Budapest stopover into your schedule, you can check out the full range and read more on the Omorovicza website.


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Friday, 26 February 2016

5 Style Hacks I'm Stealing from London Fashion Week (And a Couple I'm Not)

London Fashion Week is renowned for styling sleights whose recreation outside the rarefied confines of Brewer Street NCP would see their proponents running the risk of a lifetime Tesco ban. But it's also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for those of us who fancy a little wardrobe shake-up... And nothing need stop you receiving your Ocado delivery in glittery pyjamas, eh?

Here are my Fashion Week-inspired resolutions for 2016...

1. Discover New Layers

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Skirts Over Skirts, Skirts Over Dresses, Skirts Over Suits
L-R: Topshop Unique; Fyodor Golan; Mother of Pearl; Simone Rocha
Skirts over trousers: Yawn. Skirts over... skirts? I'm listening. Skirts over suits? *Yelps with excitement*

2. Try the New High/Low

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Sports Luxe, High Low, Hi Low, Sequins, Ruffles, Slogan Sweatshirt
L-R: Peter Pilotto; Mother of Pearl; Preen; Preen
Sports/luxe: done (over and over and over and...) But prim/prairie, demure/disco and sports/vamp, on the other hand...

3. Ruffle Some Feathers

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Ruffles, Florals, Yoke Blouse, Frills, Bib Detail, Pep Hem, Peplum
L-R: Erdem; Mother of Pearl; Paul Smith; Huishan Zhang
Or, at the very least, some neck and hemlines.


4. Pop Some (Statement) Collar...

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Statement Collars, Coloured Fur, Fun Fur, Faux Fur, Parka, Pie Crust, Ruff, Elizabethan
L-R: Burberry; J. JS Lee; Osman; Roksanda
After 400 years in the fashion wilderness, could 2016 see the return of the ruff? Roksanda (incredibly) put forward a pretty convincing case... But, whilst I muster the requisite courage (and wait for Zara to rustle up a copy), I'll be following Burberry's failsafe formula: fun fur + parka + peppy prints + preppy accessories = trans-seasonal style perfection.

5. Jazz Up My Hosiery

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Pom Pom, Socks with Sandals, Socks with Heels, Pom Pom Coat, Pom Pom Socks, Glitter Tights, Accessories
Clockwise from L: House of Holland; Osman; Mother of Pearl; Ryan Lo
And once I've finished rifling through the darkest recesses of my sock drawers in search of those Burberry-alike textured tights, I solemnly swear to finally try out the socks-and-sandals thing... Before investing in some new-style pom pom-adorned accessories (because, come next season, a bag charm just isn't going to cut it) and (*squeal*) some glittery tights. The '80s party dressing trend is going to be the best Crimbo gift an adult woman ever received.

And 4 I Won't Be Trying At Home...

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Contouring, Headscarf, Skirts Over Trousers, Dress Over Trousers
Gareth Pugh; Ashish; Christopher Kane; Mother of Pearl
1. '80s power suiting? YES. Contouring using tights? No.
2. Glittery pyjamas? Yes (please). Hair of Marge Simpson and Krusty the Clown's lovechild? No.
3. Bag-for-life-based millinery? Call me old school, but I think I'll be sticking to umbrellas for the time being.
4. Skirts-over-skirts? Intrigued. Skirts-over-trackies-over-socks-under-slippers? Baffled.

Need to Know: Your LFW Crib Notes

  • The Hottest Colours: Olive Green, Yolk Yellow, Rose Pink
  • The Greater Spotted Prints: Gingham, Houndstooth, Florals
  • Most Referenced Decades: '60s, '70s (yes, I know), '80s
  • Most Commonly Credited Concepts: Fading Beauty, High/Low
  • Most Unexpected Trend: Corsets over everything...


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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Guys: 5 Reasons You Might Be More On Trend Than You Think...

Fashion month 'proper' is just about to kick off, but let's take a moment to look back at the lessons to be learned from this season's men's shows... could you (or your man) be more on trend than you ever realised?

You're oh-so-AW16 if...

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L-R: Off-White, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, Bally, Topman Design, Raf Simons
  • You rock a suit and kicks combo on your morning commute...
  • Minus the blazer, but plus a bomber...
  • And, on changing out of said kicks, occasionally find yourself sporting mismatching socks.
  • You waited out the whole skinny jean thing...
  • And are still the proud owner of a puffa. High fives all round, Mr. Ice - or can we call you Vanilla?

5 things you might not be wearing yet, but really should...

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L-R: Topman Design, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, Louis Vuitton, Issey Miyake, Bally
  • Flares - take note, guys, as Topman shows you a totally non-scary way to work them into your workaday wardrobe...
  • A statement coat (yes, even if you do have that puffa locked down) - tartan, chevron, checkerboard.... the world - and colour wheel - are your oyster...
  • OR a statement scarf - if you're not quite ready for full body coverage...
  • Berry tones - flattering virtually every complexion, burgundy hues are guaranteed to get you noticed for the right reasons...
  • Roll necks - layer up or fly solo - just get ready to roll now... slip one under your suit blazer for a dose of David Gandy dash, or pop a shirt or sweater on top for a so-hip-it-might-just-hurt hit of '70s prep.

...and 5 you might not be quite ready for...

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L-R: Sandro, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, 3.1 Phillip Lim
  • Leather trousers - on the catwalk, leather skinnies + tonal tailoring = all kinds of chic. But serious cheek(bones), not to mention model-esque pins, are required to pull them off. And the same goes for...
  • Sequins...
  • Embroidered denim...
  • And embellished knitwear. Then we have...
  • The wear-it-out onesie - if you're going there, please follow Phillip Lim's eminently sensible example and layer a shirt underneath, or trips to the loos are going to get a teensy bit awkward.


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