Balenciaga

Are you thinking of this?

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 07.59.08Or are you thinking of those timeless, iconic dresses and accessories when women “dressed?” Actually, properly, perfectly dressed.

If you want to see actual, proper dressing, head down to the V&A now until next February 2018 and see Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. All the details are on the V&A website.

The outfits are hard to capture through the glass, but you get the idea. Members’ week at the museum and this was the preview night before it opens to the public this weekend.

English Heritage Day Trip

Back in the autumn, I waxed lyrical about my English Heritage membership and all the historic sites across the country you can visit… Well, in the newsletter they email out, I learned Wrest Park¬†(Bedfordshire) was hosting the largest St. George’s Day festival in the country! For a nominal fee (on top of the membership fee), we could go and enjoy all sorts of activities over the weekend! Even better – if tickets were pre-purchased online, you could save an additional 10% – excellent.

So, what did we do? There were a tonne of “living history” re-enactments – everything from Vikings and Romans who lived in England long ago, to Medieval/Renaissance knights and folk, Crusaders, and 18th-century lords and ladies! Plenty of food choices (though an equal amount of people brought picnics as the weather turned nice), activities for kids of all ages, falconry demonstrations, the ability to enjoy the amazing grounds and gardens, and the house was open as well!

My dad really enjoyed it – he’s still talking about it! For Americans, since there’s no “national holiday” like we’re used to with 4th of July celebrations, this was a fun substitute. I even got a little St. George’s Cross flag for that patriotic vibe!

Overhearing a worker when I was having lunch, I learned Wrest Park was expecting 9,000 – 10,000 visitors over the 2-day event! Easily comparable to many of the Civil War or Revolutionary War re-enactment events you’ll find on the east coast of the US.

There are over 300 English Heritage sites to visit across the country – a membership can easily pay for itself in about 4-6 visits.

Artist (not really)

So, remember how I went to Emma Bridgewater a few weeks ago with my mom and did the design your own mug? Well, 2 weeks later, guess what arrived at my door?

I’m not quitting my day job anytime soon ūüôā Nonetheless, I think my dad is secretly jealous he didn’t get a mug of his own.

Would we take the drive up to Stoke-on-Trent again and do another day at Emma Bridgewater? Absolutely!

End of an Era

So, news broke yesterday that Jenna Lyons, CEO of J.Crew would be stepping down after 26 years at the company. In the US, J.Crew was always the hipper, cooler version of L.L. Bean or Lands’ End in the early 90s, and originally, it was catalogue only shopping with the order form attached at the centre. There were no stores. None. And I can remember waiting anxiously every time that new catalogue came out. My first purchases with my first credit card? A colour-block pique polo shirt and a pair of what would now be considered “high-waist” denim shorts. Also a navy blue polka dot (cotton) bikini. Love xx (and what does it say that I still remember that 20-something years later?)

At the time I didn’t even know who Jenna Lyons was – but she put the adorable critter embroidered clothing everywhere (I have turtle critter chinos I break out in the summer – still).. and the combo of sequins in the daytime! SEQUINS. With camo and stripes. Yes! And shoes that were sparkly and didn’t even seemingly go with the rest of your outfit.

Arguably, many have had it right over the last 5+ years or so – massive company debt, over-priced items, and sinking quality. I have cashmere from 10 years ago and TBH, it’s better quality than what’s in stores today. Basics that were¬†staples of any closet disappeared¬†in lieu of trendy items that were ridiculously priced. Remember when the Cece ballet flat came back? It wasn’t nearly as good as the original.

And what happened to classics like the basic rollneck sweater/jumper that came in 100% cotton, cashmere, or a cotton/cashmere blend? Gone. Scoop back swimsuit? Gone, though it did come back briefly last year. Caf√© capri¬†pants/trousers? Round toe Chelsea¬†boots with the basic 1″ heel? Schoolboy blazer? (Ok, fine, it was replaced with the Rhodes blazer, but still…) Biennial satchel/hobo bags? Flannel-lined chinos? Cotton blend swimsuits? Etta block heels? And the basic barn jacket with the corduroy¬†collar?

Accessories also made J.Crew a staple across the country. The bubble necklace that everyone had in seemingly every colour imaginable – and copied endlessly by the likes of Bauble Bar and others? Chunky pearls and sparkly statement necklaces during the day? Absolutely! Don’t forget the beaded rose necklace too, or the pretty much any necklace that would seem more appropriate during the evening. But hell, New Balance became cool again and everyone had #shinyponies.

Maybe we should’ve known the end was nigh, as even the wedding collection disappeared last year and one of the ruffled, flamenco-inspired¬†skirts shown for SS17 last autumn had an asking price of $900? Regardless, I’ll miss Jenna and no longer be afraid of sequins during the day and be ok knowing camo, like leopard, is a neutral.¬†I’ll still be a J.Crew girl.

Forever Hounds (GRWE) Charity Event

With the greyhounds, various groups around the country are always in need of funds to bring dogs into care, get them properly vetted, pay for kennel fees if the group doesn’t have their own kennels, transport dogs to foster homes, and pay for emergency medical costs.

Forever Hounds Trust (formally Greyhound Rescue West of England РGRWE) is holding a fundraiser in London in a few short weeks to help greyhounds and lurchers at their various locations. Most recently, the group came to the aid of over 50 greyhounds in a rather serious welfare case, which you can read about on their website. Due to cases such as this, and the regular dogs brought into their care, raising funds to ensure they have the best help available is paramount.

Fancy a shop at designer L.K. Bennett whilst helping super cute, adorable greyhounds (and lurchers)?

GWRE LK Bennett

PLEASE RSVP so they know how many people to expect! Text WOOF05[space]£10 to 70070 and enjoy!

 

 

GlamGlow UK

The very nice people over at GlamGlow UK were kind enough to send me a sample of their Supermud(R) Clearing Treatment after I saw it on another blog and I thought I would give it a try. Just to be clear, GlamGlow did not ask me to write a review, but I thought since they were kind enough to send me some product, I would certainly give them my opinion and feedback. All opinions here are my own and I was not paid monetarily to write this review.

That being said, I’m in my early 40s and have super-duper sensitive skin – I can break out at the drop of a hat with some products, and despite having combo skin in my teens and 20s, suddenly at about 35yrs old, I switched from oil-free everything to regular makeup and moisturizers as my skin is now ridiculously dry. I also hate products that have a lot of fragrance. I know what I like and what I don’t – but I also love the ability (especially now) of trying something new that I may have overlooked or never heard of in the US! And…I’m having to change my moisturiser as I think it’s causing breakouts, so honestly, I was looking forward to trying this – hoping it would help clean up my skin a bit.

According to the website, the Supermud¬†is, “[the] most advanced clearing treatment…[d]eveloped…to help fight common skin concerns. Designed for men and women…[for] super poreless looking skin.” And there are lots of personal pictures customers have submitted online. It retails for ¬£39 on their website. Others such as Marks & Spencer, Lookfantastic.com, Debenhams, and FeelUnique.com all carry it as well and some offer varying discounts.

What did I think?

My initial thought was that it smelled like black liquorice. Not my favourite, but I’m not planning on eating it. Thankfully it wasn’t overly perfumey or florally smelling! It comes out of the tube super black and dries to a grey, chalk colour. Leave it on 5-20min.

Flash forward 20min for maximum effect…

 

img_5640

I look utterly ridiculous and can’t see without my glasses! Did I even put enough on???

 

Overall, I liked it. It made my skin feel really nice afterwards. I certainly think it’d be good to use at least 1x per week – like on a Friday night when I’m not doing anything! I think next time, I’ll put it on a bit thicker for sure. And because I have a travel size, I’m not sure how long a regular sized pot would last.

*do note all the stock images are trademarked/copyrighted and belong to GlamGlow

Mini Obsession

So, on a whim (because I need to spend more money like I need a hole in my head), I took the advice/suggestion/taunt from Kate over at wearsmymoney.com¬†and used the 20% last weekend at Marks & Spencer to buy a few things I didn’t really need. Par for the course, eh?

Ren cleanser – yep. And some¬†Rosie for Autograph¬†makeup. Namely, an eyeshadow palette and lip glossy (like a lipstick, but a chubby crayon). I was sceptical at first – another “model’s makeup” brand? Would it really be any good or just a celeb plugging a product? Then I went and read some reviews on other sites, and everyone seemed to have great reviews for it. Many even commented about the similarities to new cult Charlotte Tilbury but at half the cost. Even better!

I shouldn’t complain. I’m well outside my 20s or 30s but I can’t apply eyeliner to save my life, and even just a few months ago, I literally purged makeup I’d had for over 5 years that had barely been dented. Hell, I still have Bobbi Brown makeup brushes I purchased (spent a small fortune on) at Tyson’s Galleria about a year after her cult (now staple) makeup launched in the late 90s! (Let this be a lesson that when you¬†take¬†care of stuff, it can last forever.) Nonetheless, I¬†do love a good lipstick/gloss/balm though as I have the world’s most chapped lips year-round.

The Rosie for Autograph makeup is also cruelty-free with the leaping bunny logo! (Hers says neither the ingredients nor the final products are tested on animals.)  Game on!

The lip glossy (¬£12.50) is in “supermodel smile.” I love it. The colour is perfect. It feels nice on and lasts a good while on my super chapped lips. The eyeshadow palette (¬£18) is in “copper gold rush.” I’m not an expert at applying eye makeup at all but the colours looked nice once applied and lasted all day for me.

I also had the M&S Pure Cotton Trenchcoat (¬£79) and some bow trainers (¬£25) – TBH a great, affordable copy of the Joshua Sanders bows for ¬£225 less in my cart too, but I couldn’t pull the trigger. Do I need another coat or another pair of sneakers? The weather hasn’t been kind lately and I already feel like I’m not wearing enough of what’s in my closet but…

I found a black coat on Mango for £19.99 and a grey sweater for $19.99 too. Oops! Well, £20 is better than £80 right?

 

 

As always, this post is not sponsored by M&S or Mango. I made purchases based on recommendations and wanted to share with you!