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31 October 2011

Cashmere

Sweater

Last month Wayward Daughter was lucky enough to be named one of the Best Up-and-Coming UK Fashion Blogs in Voucher Codes Most Wanted Fashion 100. Instead of solely showcasing the big gun bloggers, the list also focuses on fresh talent. It is so refreshing to see new names up there and so many great blogs put in the spotlight. It is also such a pleasure to be included alongside some of my favourite UK blogs - Louder than Silence, Foxtail and Fern and Mademoiselle Robot, to name but three.

Through the Fashion 100, Most Wanted asked me to take part in their high street cashmere challenge. According to fashion magazines everywhere, cashmere, angora and wool are so this season.I try not to take much notice of what they say but after last years arctic winter I confess, I have been stockpiling knitwear. The onlyproblem is sumptuous knits like angora and cashmere aren't very well behaved, they are prone to shrink, stretch or bobble and to top it all off they are expensive. With all of this in mind, I thought the cashmere challenge would be a great resource and agreed to take part. Myself and a selection of bloggers were assigned a different high street shop and asked to put a 100% cashmere sweater through its paces. My sweater was from Uniqlo, which is £79.90 and comes in a rainbow of colours - naturally I shunned these and choose boring old grey.


Sweater sweater

Size and Fit: I'm not familiar with Uniqlo's sizing but Adam has a collection of their chambray shirts in size S which I can comfortably wear. I wanted a loose fitting jumper to wear over dresses so based on the shirts and their sizing guide I choose a size M. For the look I wanted I would have been better to buy a L or even an XL because this sweater fits very snugly. It is also very long which doesn't at all fit in with personal style but because it is so tight it can be easily tucked under and disguised as a cropped sweater without constantly unfurling itself.

Texture and Care: Given that the sweater is 100% cashmere it is extremely soft and not prone to excess bobbling, well not so far. It is also warm enough to wear indoors but not so heavy as to be too hot under a wool coat. As you can see the care label is very clear - dry clean only. I have lots of dry clean only pieces but these are mostly dresses not everyday items like a simple grey sweater. For me this is a downside because I would prefer to to make trips (or pay for them) for something so ordinary.

21 October 2011

Lessons in concealment with Cover F X

Cover FX

When it comes to make up, I'm certainly no authority. For years my makeup routine has been shamefully basic. A dab or two of concealer, a flick of black eyeliner, black mascara, and a quick dust of blusher. Once the sun goes down I might amplify the eyeliner, go heavy on the Ruby Woo and if I'm feeling really brave I'll wrestle with false eyelashes but it's all just variations on a theme.

When it comes to applying make up with any finesse, my skills begin and end with the application of liquid eyeliner. That I can do in ten second flat, on a bus trundling down a cobbled street with a mirror the size of a postage stamp but that's it. It's only in the last few months that I have even ventured so far as to wear foundation and even then its only light coverage and not everyday. This is because my skin is sensitive to the point of hysteria coupled with a tricky skin tone. A mix of Scottish and Hawaiian parentage bestowed upon me a complexion that tans easily in Summer with a liberal scattering of freckles but in the depths Winter is sallow yet pink cheeked. If I have ever found a colour match, the chances are that it will irritate my skin so when Cover FX invited me to their new counter at Edinburgh's Harvey Nichols for a colour match, I though they would have their work cut out.



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I am pleased to say that I couldn't have been further from the truth. I had the pleasure of meeting Lee Graff, President and Co-Creator of Cover FX and Wanda Longo, International Communications Director who taught me more about Cover FX and its origins. You can read more about it here but in short the range has been specifically created to provide natural coverage for those suffering from skin conditions such as acne or even facial scars. This means Cover FX boast over 30 different shades of foundation, which are all paraben, fragrance and oil free. Meaning they cater for all manner of skin tones and are perfect for sensitive skin.

Cover FX

I have to admit, when I'm shopping for a new product it is only with extreme reservation that I sit down in a make up artists chair, especially if the one wielding the brushes is deep shade of terracotta. I need not have worried, Victor was charming and fresh faced. In fact, his skin was so flawless that I wondered if he was wearing any make up at all. When I asked him, he assured me that it was all Cover FX and that was simply the beauty of the brand.

While I sat there, brushes flying, talked me through all the steps - primer, powder, foundation, concealer, a little more powder finished off with the most perfect shade of lip gloss some bronzer. Again, I have to admit that I was still thinking what a lot of make up but once again I was wrong. When I saw the finished article I was quite literally amazed, first of all the colour matched so perfectly and how is it possible to wear what, to me is a lot of make up and look so fresh faced.

I took these pictures the same afternoon (aside from adjusting the white balance they remain unedited) and after seeing the result on screen I still couldn't believe it. I was sure that in my hands, instead of those of a professionals it would not look nearly a good. Wrong again, I've used it every day since and I am a complete convert. However, I have learned one important lesson- Foundation is best applied with a brush. Not a cheap sponge or - Quelle Horreur, my finger tips as I had done previously. While I would fully recommend all of their products, for me the reigning champion is the Clearprep FX primer, after wearing it for two days any blemished I had disappeared and my skin has stayed clear ever since.

Thank you Cover FX!

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16 October 2011

Sunday Best: Monki Review

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Constanza Dress - Monki, Blazer - AA via thrift, Bowler - M&S,
Satchel - Cambridge Satchel Co.

Ever since I discovered the blogging world I have been in awe of Scandinavian culture and their effortless style. One name that continually appeared on my favourite Scandi blogs was Monki, and for the past few years I have been visiting their site to pine after the simplistic frocks and quirky accessories. This continued until I watched Laetitia of Melle Robot's series on Monki Television when a full blown obsession arose. It intensified after watching all of Indigo Clarke's (Swoon!) episodes and right now I am completely besotted with seeing my favourite Swedish blogger Elsa Billgren, take over Monki Television. Anyway... when I finally heard the news that Monki had commenced shipping to the UK I had to get my hands on this pie frill frock and put in an order that very morning. Before I made the order I had a few questions about sizing etc. When I posted on Twitter about my order a few people asked about it so I decided to do a review as well as my standard here-I-am-wearing-a-frock post.

The little pie frill collar was the reason I choose this dress but because it is a little big on me, the high neck and full sleeves were overpowering on my busty frame. Instead of returning it, I ironed the collar down and rolled up the sleeves which seemed to balance it out a little.


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Size and Quality:After scrutinising the size guide and ignoring all advice I decided to buy a size too big which was a complete mistake and entirely my own fault. I worked on the premise that because Monki is owned by Hennes and Mauritz the sizing would be comparable to H&M (I used to work for them so I know their sizing well), which is always on the small side. However I was completely wrong and my advice would be to trust the size guide because the sizes are generous. In terms of quality I would say this dress is comparable to H&M, well finished in 100% cotton but as the fabric is light pink it is a little see through but not enough to need an underskirt.

Shipping:On the Monki site it states that delivery will take 3-5 days after the parcel has left their warehouse which they estimate will be one working day after the order has been placed. They were true to their word, I ordered on a Monday, the order was dispatched on Tuesday and it arrived with me on Friday afternoon.

Just as soon as I can whittle my order down from everything in the whole store I'll be putting in another order, in the correct size this time! If I have missed anything out, feel free to ask and I'll try my best to answer.

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14 October 2011

Edinburgh Guide: Out of the Blue Flea Market

OOTB Flea Market

Rummaging around in search of tatty old treasures just might be my favourite pastime. You just never know what you are going to find! So when the organisers of the flea market at Out of the Blue asked if I would come along and take a few pictures of my visit and I was delighted to accept. The pictures were taken back in the Summer, on a rain soaked Saturday morning but the flea market runs once a month including this Saturday. Edinburgh has car boot sales, antique fairs but until now we have been missing a middle ground. The flea market at Out of the Blue totally bridges this gap. All the stalls sell reasonably priced vintage, unlike many of the antique fairs where prices for similar items are often double. Yet it is a far cry from the car boot sale, which is housed in a dingy multi story car park. Don't get me wrong, I relish a trip to either but it makes a refreshing change to find so many great stalls all together in one place in such lovely surroundings. The icing on the cake has to be their wonderful cafe which, for me anyway, is an extra incentive to haul myself out of bed on a Saturday morning.

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OOTB Flea Market OOTB Flea Market

While I was there, I picked up a couple of coronation cups to add to my collation and this green medicine tin. If you fancy popping along to Out of The Blue to unearth some vintage treasures, it will be on from 10am - 3pm tomorrow - Saturday 15th at The Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street, just off Leith Walk.

OOTB Flea Market OOTB Flea Market

02 October 2011

Sunday Best: We will always have October

Mushroom
Dress - Dorothy Perkins, Jumper - H&M, Bag - Mulberry,
Desert Boots - Topshop, Necklace - gift from Far Fetch.

Has it really been two whole weeks since I blogged last? Ouch! I've missed it terribly but I've just been so busy making Wayward Daughter frocks that I haven't had any spare time. Amongst other things I've been working on a few bespoke frocks for Audrey Grace Boutique, which have also been illustrated by Caitlin Shearer. I'm a huge fan of her work so I cannot even express how elating it is to see her take on my designs.

Mushroom

In a fickle turn of events Mother Nature sent an Indian Summer to the UK. If you follow me on Twitter you will have heard cries of my distress at this sudden transformation. Long story short, I adore October and did not want to forgo my woollens. Thankfully (for me) Autumn has returned to Scotland once more, rain and all. When I awoke to a damp and misty morning, I quite gleefully rummaged around in my wardrobe for a woolly jumper. In bleak February when winter has dug its stubborn heels in, I will without doubt look ruefully upon this post. Hopelessly daydreaming of an Indian Summer but for now I am very happy to have October.

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My colour of choice at the moment is a Mushroomy grey, just like this jumper. It was an impulse buy from H&M, after actively avoiding shopping there for the past few years all of a sudden my whole wardrobe seems to be stocked full of their basics. Since I've been spending all my time drafting and sewing, it calls for practical, comfortable outfits. This one has been a staple over the past couple of weeks, with sewing machine friendly loafers, or desert boots if I'm lucky enough to leave the house but always accessoried with this heart necklace which was a gift from Far Fetch. We stole a few pictures yesterday on my coffee break, when it promptly began to rain… that's October for you!

Mushroom