December Loves

1. Wearing: I’m currently feeling festive in daily combinations of sparkles, lace and snuggly knits. I’ve just added this Alice by Temperley lace dress (which after months of wanting, I finally nabbed on sale at MyWardrobe.com) to my wardrobe and have been wearing it with opaque tights and heels and tuxedo jackets until the return of summer means it is warm enough to wear it on it’s own.

2. Buying: I can’t get enough of Lulu Frost’s spectacular jewels at the moment, and have just added this necklace (in the white version) from her latest collection for J. Crew to my jewellery drawer.

3. On my wishlist: I simply adore my Charlotte Olympia Kitty heels, so much so that I’m contemplating a pair of the flats too. I can’t justify a second pair in black, but this burgundy velvet pair is too perfect for words and would add a dash of fun to everyday outfits.

4. Small pleasures: Things are hectic this week to say the least, so I’m so looking forward to a week of lie-ins and decadent laziness between Christmas and New Year. Whenever I put on a silk sleep mask (this version is so Holly Golightly-cute!), it means I’m serious about a looong sleep and not to be disturbed!

5. Sparkling: These tiny golden star earrings are festive, whimsical and fun, but cost less than a Christmas pudding. Yes please!

6. For my home: In lieu of a real Christmas tree, I’m burning Diptyque’s limited edition holiday spruce candle - which smells exactly like the real thing – each evening. It’s festivity in a (beautiful) jar!

7. Beauty note: Come December, only dark red or glittery nails will do (or, better yet, a combination of both of these). I’ve been wearing Deborah Lippmann‘s burgundy ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ glitter polish constantly.

8. Play: Indulging in my favourite festive tradition and watching the English National Ballet’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. Quite simply the loveliest way to spend a December evening!

9. Listening to: My Rat Pack Christmas album is on nightly rotation (apologies to all my neighbours); Frank, Dean and Sammy Davis are getting me in the festive mood…

10. Watching: This weekend we’re getting together with some friends for an all-day Christmas movie marathon (with a lunchtime trip to the outdoor ice rink thrown in for good measure). It’s all about The Holiday, A Muppet Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, Scrooged, Elf, Love Actually and Miracle on 34th Street.

I’d love to hear what you’re all enjoying this month! Happy December lovelies.

Love, Miss B xx

October Loves

1. Play: Flying to New York this week (there will be Autumnal picnics in Central Park and West Village shopping and apple cider and rides in yellow taxis and Manhattan skyline gazing)

2. Wearing: These darling glittery Pretty Ballerinas via Zalando (because practical shoes should be fun too)

3. Beauty note: Plummy, burgundy manicures (Chanel Suspicious is my current favourite)

4. Buying: I’ll need to clear a whole section of empty space in my suitcase for J. Crew purchases alone, but I’ve especially got my eye on their perfect cashmere jumpers in bubblegum pink and navy that I’ll team with crisp white Oxford shirts or ladylike chiffon midi skirts and jewels for walks on the Upper East Side (that last part is mostly just in my daydreams).

5. On my wishlist: Because a magpie girl like me can never have too many twinkly jewels, I’m dreaming of a wrist adorned with Lulu Frost’s marvellous cocktail bracelets.

6. For my home: Laduree Marie Antoinette tea in powder blue teacups; the height of luxury for cosy rainy weekends indoors.

7. Sparkling: These cheap and chic gobstopper-sized earrings from ASOS.

8. Watching: Mid-week theatre dates always make me smile (this month it’s Roald Dahl’s Matilda in London). The red velvet seats, the sound of the orchestra tuning and the lights dimming give me happy goosebumps every time.

9. Listening: The mornings may be getting colder and darker (rendering it near-impossible to get out of a cosy bed), but the sounds of big band standards as I’m putting on my makeup definitely makes getting ready for work feel a whole lot more fun.

10. Small pleasures: Watching the trees that line the Thames and the River Cam turn to shades of umber and burnt orange, and jumping in big piles of crunchy autumn leaves underfoot.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful October! What are a few of your favourite things currently?

Love, Miss B xx

 

Beauty: The Glittery Manicure (to Brighten Grey Days)

I recently did an easy tutorial for glittery nails over on The Glitter Guide, but as it has been such a constant in my winter beauty regime thus fur, it makes sense that I share one on here too. On grey and wintery days or during the holidays when you want your fingers to look as pretty as the decorations on the tree and the fireworks in the sky, there is nothing quite like the glint of glittery nails peeking out from a coat.

Get experimenting with the adorable glitter polishes that much to our delight are everywhere at the moment (I love those by Essie, OPI and Deborah Lippmann), and just have fun – no one ever said glitter should be serious!

Here’s how to do it yourself:

1. Clean and file nails. This means shape, buff and push back cuticles. (When wearing glitter always keep nails short, neat and rounded so the look stays cute and classy and never verges into trashy territory.) Apply a clear base coat to protect your nails and give the polish a surface to adhere to.

2. Choose your colors. All you need is one of your favorite nail polish colors and a fun glittery polish to go on top. Color combinations that either match (such as pink glitter on baby pink, silver glitter on dove grey) or compliment (rainbow glitter on red or burgundy, or pastel glitter with different sorbet colors are happy combinations) look best.

3. Twinkle and shine. Apply two coats of the solid colour as a base coat (in this case I used the lovely lavender Nails Inc ‘Cambridge’ – named after the city I live/love - though any pastel will do). With your glitter polish you can either do a simple glittery topcoat (one or two coats depending on how dense you want the glitter), a dense glitter (three to four coats for a super razzle-dazzle effect – you can skip the base color if going for this look), dots, stripes, or a combination of anything that takes your fancy. To get the ombre effect I’ve done here (using Essie’s darling pink ‘A Cut Above’), remove the excess from the brush then just paint the glitter on the tips, bringing it down slightly towards the centre of the nail with whatever is left for a gradual fade effect (I did coats this way so the look was more obvious). Don’t worry about being too perfect – it will look like a lovely sprinkling of loose glitter however you paint it on.

4. Maintain. Seal with a top coat to make everything smooth (this will also make your polish last longer). If you get a few tiny chips after a day or two, the beauty of glitter polish is that you can easily patch up the area with a teeny bit of base colour and glitter topcoat without anyone noticing.

5. Remove: Several people have asked me how to remove glitter (it is notoriously stubborn, though as it does tend to last a few days more than regular polish alone, it all evens out in the end in terms of removal time), and I’ve found that filling the cap of your nailpolish remover (or a little glass dish) with remover solution and soaking each nail in there for about 30 seconds to a minute helps it just slide off.

What is your favourite quick beauty fix to help brighten grey days?

Love, Miss B xx