10 Ways To Sparkle More in 2013

Happy New Year my lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful start to the year? (I kicked mine off as I mean to go on: with loved ones, fireworks, pink champagne and a lot of sparkles).

If there is one time of year that enables us to completely shift our perspective on things, it’s the prospect of a clean slate a new year brings. In 2013, I resolve to view the world through rose-tinted glasses; to find joy in small pleasures and to be a better version of myself. Here are a few of my favourite ways to fastrack to a sparklier year:

1. Don’t save your favourite things for ‘a special occasion’. Life is the special occasion! Treat every day like a party and wear a tangle of your treasures necklaces, a cluster of your grandmother’s brooches, or your favourite party dresses each day.

2. Be kind to your body. Get enough sleep and sunshine, eat well, drink gallons of water and move about. You’ll not only be overflowing with energy, but look gorgeous and radiant too.

3. Practise random acts of kindness. Tell a stranger in the street how great they look, leave a little note with a tip at your local cafe saying how much you adore their cake, volunteer for a worthy local cause. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but doing lovely, selfless things often will make you smile on the inside.

4. Always buy yourself a bunch of flowers. They needn’t be expensive (in spring, I love nothing more than $2 bunches of daffodils and white narcissi on my windowsill), but they will add a loveliness to your home which belies their cost.

5. Reinvigorate your look. If you’re in wardrobe rut, make an effort to do your hair and put on your cutest heels for no particular reason at all. You’ll spend the day feeling that little bit lovelier.

6. Don’t let grey skies get you down. Treat it as an excuse to wear a poppy pink lipstick, an adorable umbrella and perhaps a shot of pastel or fuschia in your outfit (the same optimistic rules apply to bad days).

7. Don’t get stuck in a rut; tweak your everyday routines to make them special rituals. Can’t function without your morning tea or coffee? Have it in your prettiest china instead so it feels like you’re having a tea party every single morning!

8. One day every week (without fail), go on a date with someone you love. It doesn’t need to be grand or over the top. Why not go someone fabulous with your best friend on pay day every single month for a single cocktail? Or get dressed up and go and see a musical you’ve been wanting to see for ages all by yourself? Or a bike ride at sunset with your loved one? Whatever it is, make time for special moments with the people you love.

9. Literally add some sparkle to your home. Buy yourself some (affordable) art that makes you smile. Treasure-hunt some beautiful vintage pink cocktail glasses. String some fairy lights around your doorways, or DIY it and make a garland of glittery bunting to string up across your wall.

10. If you’re feeling uninspired, broaden your horizons. Make plans to take a trip to a city you’ve always wanted to explore, visit a new museum in your area, or go to your favourite bookstore for something wonderful to read this week. Instant inspiration!

Lulu Guinness lips clutch (c/o), Jimmy Choo heels, vintage 1950s pink champagne glasses (found on ebay), ASOS earrings, vintage crystal brooches, Jennifer Loiselle ‘oui’ brooch, pink glass candle votives from Catbird.

What are your goals and plans for the year ahead? Wishing you all a wonderful 2013!

Love, Miss B xx

(This is an edited version of an article I wrote for the Glitter Guide last New Year. See the original post here.)

10 Ways to a More Charmed Life

I am firmly committed to the art of living life through a rose-tinted filter. Of course I do not pretend that horrible things do not happen, not that I can control every element of my life, but I find that by making the simplest of tweaks every day, life feels a whole lot more charming and wonderful. I thought I’d adapt a recent post I did for Glitter Guide (‘How to Sparkle More in 2012‘) so that I can share a few of my favourite rose-tinted fixes here.

1. Don’t save your favourite things for ‘a special occasion’. Life is the special occasion! Treat every day like a party and pile on your favourite jewels each day, wear your favourite party dress often, and spritz your favourite perfume as you rush out the door each morning.

2. Whenever you have a spare day, act as though it’s your birthday. Eat cake for breakfast, dance around the room to your favourite songs, throw a frou frou tea party or movie night for your best friends, go to your favourite places… do whatever it is that makes you smile out loud.

3. Practise random acts of kindness. Always demonstrate impeccable manners, tell a stranger in the street how great they look, leave a little note with a tip at your local cafe saying how perfectly they make their coffee, send handwritten notes on your favourite notecards, volunteer for a worthy local cause. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but doing lovely, selfless things often will make you smile on the inside.

4. Add loveliness to your home. Buy yourself flowers (they needn’t be expensive; in spring, I love nothing more than $2 bunches of daffodils and white narcissi on my windowsill), buy bed sheets that make bed time feel like a hotel stay, ensure you have a good stack of books that you don’t want to put down, light a gorgeous candle when you come home each evening, and collect treasures that evoke happy memories.

5. If you’re in wardrobe rut, make an effort to do your hair and put on your cutest heels for no particular reason at all. You’ll spend the day feeling that little bit lovelier.

6. Don’t let grey skies get you down. Treat it as an excuse to wear a poppy pink lipstick, an adorable umbrella and perhaps a shot of pastel or fuschia in your outfit (the same optimistic rules apply to bad days or frustrating situations).

7. Don’t get stuck in a grey rut; tweak your everyday routines to make the special rituals. Can’t function without your morning tea or coffee? Have it in your prettiest china instead so it feels like you’re having a tea party every single morning!

8. One day every week (without fail), go on a date with someone you love. It doesn’t need to be grand or over the top. Why not go somewhere fabulous with your best friend on pay day every single month for a single cocktail? Or get dressed up and go and see a musical you’ve been wanting to see for ages all by yourself? Or a bike ride at sunset with your loved one? Whatever it is, make time for special moments with the people you love.

9. Treasure small moments of happiness. Have breakfast in bed on Saturdays, smell every rose you pass on an evening walk, put on a movie that makes you laugh out loud, pause to watch the sky turn pink at sunset, have picnics and walk barefoot through the grass on warm summer evenings.

10. If you’re feeling uninspired, broaden your horizons. Make plans to take a trip to a city you’ve always wanted to explore, visit a new museum in your area, or go to your favourite bookstore for something wonderful to read this week. Instant inspiration!

How to you make life a little more rose-tinted each day? I’d love to hear your favourite pleasures!

Love, Miss B xx

Beauty: How to Get Your Makeup Bag in Order

In keeping with my annual January quest for organisation, it seems only appropriate to dedicate the first Beauty Wednesday post of the year to sorting out your makeup bag and beauty routine. Whilst I’ll be following my own advice on a few of these points (I’m guilty of not wearing SPF all the time and buying an obscene amount of nailpolish and pink lipstick), all are, I hope, helpful pieces of advice that we can all benefit from being reminded of from time to time.

1. Declutter your beauty supplies. Go through your makeup bag, your vanity cupboard, your handbag and wherever else you stash all your beauty products. Gather everything up in one place and sort through the entire lot (this is quite the task for me!). Automatically bin anything that is expired, looks or smells funny, or is past it’s prime (as a general guideline, this is three months for mascara, 6 months for most other gel/liquid/cream cosmetic, 1 year for most hair/body/skincare products and 1-2 years for any dry/powder products). Also toss anything that is unflattering, that you never wear (and are realistically unlikely to), or that you don’t really like. Your skin is precious, so why bother putting something on it that is unflattering or unhygenic? With whatever is left over, make sure everything is clean (wash your makeup bag and counter surfaces, wipe lipsticks with alcohol wipes, remove buildup from product bottles, etc.) and organised so you know where to find it.

2. Get your tools in order. Once you’ve sorted through everything, what is missing? Everyone should have a great set of makeup brushes & tools (I love MAC for all of these – not cheap, but they will last you years and years if you look after them) and take care of them as the first step to flawless makeup. To ensure they last (and stay hygenic), wash them once a week with warm water and a brush cleanser or baby shampoo and store them upright in a glass where you can see them (rather than shoving them in a makeup bag where they will just breed bacteria).

3. Find what is missing. Do you have 20 lipglosses but still haven’t found a foundation that disappears into your skin and stays put? Then it’s time to fill in the gaps. Hunt down some good-quality basics where you need them (if you need help, go to your favourite makeup counter and have them suggest a few to try) so that you have a complete beauty kit you are happy with. And about those 20 lipglosses? Stop buying that which you have multiples of until you’ve used up what you already have (for me, this is pale pink nail polish and countless lipsticks in almost identical shades which I seem to stockpile irrationally).

4. Master your perfect look. Perfect one makeup look that looks gorgeous on you and which you can fall back on each day (if you’ve been doing the same one for years or still don’t have the hang of one that works, go to a makeup counter to get help finding a look that is perfect for you).

5. Experiment and have fun. Once you’ve mastered your basic look, one day every week shake your routine up by trying something completely fun and unexpected to avoid getting in a rut. Always a cat eye and nude lip girl? Wear a neon pink lipstick on Friday. Always wearing red lipstick? Try a soft pink lip and bright cheeks instead.

6. Overcome your beauty sins. These are the big things we know we shouldn’t do, but do anyway out of habit. Always cleanse and moisturise properly at night (because you should only fall into bed with your makeup on once in a blue moon), stop attacking spots (because squeezing a pimple adds a whole week to the time it takes to heal), ensure you’re wearing enough SPF coverage if you’re spending any time outside (because premature ageing and sun damage is not pretty).

7. Add one thing. Every year, your beauty and skincare routines should evolve with you. If you have the exact same skincare/beauty routine you did 5 years ago, it might be worth considering a tweak here and there. In your 20s? Use a good eye cream and an anti-oxidant serum. In your 30s? Add in a nourishing face oil. In short, let your beauty regime age gracefully with you.

Which beauty resolutions will you be making this year?

Love, Miss B xx