The Men's Watch

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As much as I love the look of the large watches that seem to be so popular now, I've never really considered owning one myself. This is due to the fact that I have spindly chicken arms, and anything larger than those plastic watches you get for children tends to look ridiculous on me. However, I recently took the challenge to put together an outfit based around a men's watch, which I found on Invaluable.com - a huge treasure chest of an online auction site, in case you haven't heard of it.

For the purpose of this exercise, I've jumped into a fantasy world where I have regular sized arms and wrists, and can wear any watch I like. Let the fun begin!

The first step was to "shop" Invaluable.com for my men's watch. Let me tell you - a person could lose hours doing this. As I mentioned before, it's huge, and the choice of watches is absolutely enormous. There are all kinds of brands available and some serious bargains to be had if you know what you are looking for. However, since this was an exercise in creating a fantasy outfit, I went straight to Rolex. Go hard or go home, right? I picked out this little beauty. Isn't it a stunner? I have always loved the idea of a mixed metal watch, so that whatever jewellery you wear, it's always complemented. This one would fit the bill quite nicely, thank you!

Once I had the watch, I started building the rest of the outfit around it. This is what I came up with.
 
 
Hat, Jeans, Cape - Topshop, Blouse, Rings - H&M, Boots - Zara, Nars Audacious Lipstick in Charlotte, Watch - Invaluable.com
 
I pretty much live in Topshop Jamie jeans day to day, so a pair of these seemed like as good a place as any to start. I really love the rips on these. I haven't owned ripped denim for a long time, but so many people are rocking it now that I'm seriously tempted to jump on the bandwagon. The cape trend is something else I've been admiring a lot on other people lately, so I thought it would fun to throw one of them into the mix. After that, a simple white blouse felt like a no-brainer. With the fun element of the checked cape draped over your shoulders and this serious piece of wrist candy peeping out from your cuff, it's all you need. I also really like the idea of continuing the mixed metal theme through the delicate rings and the zips on the boots. Finally - is it too much to match a burgundy lipstick to a wide-brimmed burgundy hat? Possibly, but I fell in love with both of them, so in they went! Together with the boots, they add a bit of glamour, which is always a big plus in my book.
 
How do you guys feel about big watches?
 
Kate x
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#OOTN - Monochrome and Red Lips

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Today, I bring you a very simple Outfit of the Night - something I wore out to dinner a few weeks ago. I'd had this lovely draped white blouse from River Island hanging in my wardrobe for ages, and I couldn't wait to wear it any longer. I paired it with some black jeans and lace-up heels. I actually think that black leather trousers would work better than jeans, but since I don't currently own any of those, I had to make the best of what I had! (Yet another item to add to my never ending wish list.) You might recognise the heels. I featured them in my post about the Inside Out Beauty event, so if you want to see what they look like with a dress/playsuit then click here. I added a blazer and a clutch, both of which have racked up many years of devoted service to my wardrobe, and my look was pretty much complete.

#OOTN - Monochrome and Red Lips


River Island White BlouseBecause my outfit was quite plain, I opted to add some interest by curling my hair and slapping on a red lip. Red lips with a black and white outfit is one of my all-time favourite combinations. I chose Ruby Woo by Mac, which is my new love. My sister warned me before I bought it that it's like chalk to apply, and she was right, but the finished result is well worth the trouble in my opinion. I have several red lipsticks, but the matte finish of this one sets it apart from the rest of my collection. I love it!

Mac Ruby Woo
Incidentally, the theme of this photo taking session was hysterical laughter. My husband was making fun of my posing. I have included the following photos as proof of just how funny he was.
 
#OOTN - Monochrome and Red Lips
Still, we got there in the end!

For the finishing touches, I added some delicate jewellery and Barry M nail polish in Coconut.

Delicate Jewellery
Blouse - River Island, Jeans, Ring - Topshop, Blazer, Shoes, Clutch - Zara, Necklace - Bought from a jeweller in Santorini
 
This blouse is still available from River Island and comes in several colours including coral, purple, blue and black. Which colour would you go for, and how would you style it? I love pinching other people's outfit ideas!
 
Kate x
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The Autumn Tag

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I've been tagged by the lovely Hanh from Hanhabelle to do the Autumn Tag, and I'm very excited about it! I love doing tags and I love getting into the spirit of the changing seasons, so this is perfect! By the way, if you haven't checked out Hanh's blog yet, you definitely should. It's a lovely mix of beauty and lifestyle. So thank you Hanh for tagging me, and here goes!

The Autumn Tag


1. Ok we're talking coffees - what's your favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks or another coffee shop?
I'm not a massive fan of coffee. Very occasionally I might have a latte but I much prefer tea or hot chocolate. Starbucks' salted caramel hot chocolate is amazing. If I'm going for tea, I love trying all the different kinds. I had raspberry and ginseng tea at Café Nero recently, which was delicious. However, if I'm having a slice of cake (which is often, my friends, often) I love a traditional English breakfast tea with plenty of milk.

2. Accessories - what do you opt for: scarf, boots, gloves?
And the rest! I get cold very easily so I like to wrap up as warm as I can as soon as the temperature starts to drop. I'm really loving how popular fedoras and trilbies and wide brimmed hats are at the moment. I got a fedora last year (pictured above) and I love it, but unfortunately it's a bit big for me. I'd love to find one to fit my tiny little pin-head. The only downside of Autumn/Winter fashion for me is the expense. I always want to have a nice selection of coats, boots, scarves, hats, etc, but decent coats and boots are pretty pricey so realistically I'm not going to have dozens of them, which sucks because I always want MORE!

3. Music - what's your favourite music to listen to during Autumn?
My musical tastes don't really change with the seasons. In fact music isn't generally a huge part of my life, but every now and then I love me some Beyoncé, Adele, Katy Perry.... you get the general idea.

4. Perfume - what's your favourite scent for this time of year?
I'm a huge fan of Jo Malone perfumes and I reckon their Amber and Lavender would be perfect for this time of year. I currently have this as a bath oil and it's amazing - a really warm and unique scent. I've never really thought about switching up my perfume to suit the changing seasons before but it's a lovely idea. Plus, it's an excuse to buy more perfumes!

5. Candles - what scents will you be burning this season?
I tend to gravitate towards floral fragrances when it comes to scented candles, no matter what the time of year. Midnight Jasmine from Yankee Candle is one of my all time favourites.

6. What do you love most about Autumn?
Walking through the countryside on a sunny day when the leaves are changing colour is pretty special. I also love that "back to school" feeling - it's a time of settling back into routine with new energy after the summer and setting new goals. Also, lots of new dramas get going on TV at this time of year - I've been loving Legends on Sky 1. And it's my birthday in Autumn too!

7. Favourite makeup look?
Berry coloured lips and nails for sure, and pink toned blush.

8. What are you looking forward to most in Autumn?
Apart from my birthday, just the new season itself and changing things up a little. A change is as good as a rest, as they say!

I tag Jess from The Beauty Sanctuary, Karen from Style Sunrise and Sophie from Soinspo. And anyone else who feels like getting their Autumn Tag on! Let me know if you do it and I will read it for sure.

Kate x
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Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle

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A little while ago I was invited to join ProductTesting.uk.com. They send out free makeup and beauty products to bloggers in exchange for a review, and... well, they had me at "free makeup". I signed up, and a few days later I received my product in the post. It turned out to be a cream blush by Soap and Glory - their Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle. I also got this cool poster. Look how happy I am!

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle from ProductTesting.uk.com

I haven't tried a huge amount from Soap and Glory, but what I have, I like. I've also never used a cream blush before, so I was quite excited to try the product out.

First off, I'm not a massive fan of the packaging. I feel like there's something slightly cheap and plasticky about it, but I can overlook that. What's important is what's inside! When you remove the lid, you see a nice thick dome of product that looks a pretty intense, bright pink. It also smells of coconut, which is a lovely bonus in my book.

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle
ProductTesting.uk.com
The blush looks a little scary when you first apply it - you look like one of those dolls with the perfectly round, little hot pink cheeks. But once you blend it in, you get a really subtle, warm glow, like this.
 
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Pinker Belle
I really like this blush. It's easy to apply and to carry around and gives a nice natural flush to the cheeks that lasts a good few hours. Pinker Belle, as I said, is a warm pink that would probably suit most skin tones. There's also a peach and a berry shade available and I might well give those a try.
 
If you're a beauty blogger and you're interested in ProductTesting.uk.com, it's easy to sign up for your own beauty product review here.
 
What are your thoughts on cream blush?
 
Kate x
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Sunday Brunch at the Town House Tea Rooms, Bawtry

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For pretty boring business reasons that I will spare you the details of, my husband and I are spending a lot of time in Yorkshire at the moment. I like Yorkshire. My Mum was born here, so even though I think of myself as being from "the South", I do feel a certain sense of belonging whenever I'm "up North". In any case, there's nothing like a change of scenery to blow the cobwebs away, and Mike and I have been enjoying exploring a few new places during our free time.

Last Sunday, we took a drive to Bawtry, a busy little town near Doncaster with quite a few cafes, restaurants and boutiques. We went to the Town House Tea Rooms, where we enjoyed a lazy brunch.

Sunday Brunch at the Town House Tea Rooms, Bawtry
This place is very opulent and traditional in its décor, with large tables and lots of space. The staff are cheerful and friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed, though busy at the same time. It's a popular spot. With Frank Sinatra crooning softly in the background and the sunlight warming our faces through the window, we felt very comfortable and could happily have sat there all day.

The Town House Tea Rooms, Bawtry


The Town House Tea Rooms, Bawtry


The Town House Tea Rooms, Bawtry


We both had a pot of tea, I had a pain au chocolat and Mike had a breakfast omelette with bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes, which I very annoyingly forgot to photograph. You can just about see it in the background here. My pastry was delicious - warm and crisp and filled with lovely gooey melted chocolate. I'm told the breakfast omelette was also lovely and it certainly looked very good. It came with some thick slices of toast and a generous serving of butter.

Tea and Pain au Chocolat


The decision to blog about this little outing was as spur-of-the-moment as the outing itself, so of course I wasn't wearing anything exciting or new. Never mind, here's the outfit anyway!

OOTD Sunday Brunch


Jeans (similar here) and Shirt (similar here) - Topshop, Jacket (similar here) - Warehouse, Trainers - Converse, Bag (kinda sorta similar-ish here) - Zara
 
Do you have a favourite weekend brunch spot? Bonus points to anyone who's visited the Town House!

Kate x
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Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel

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Can you believe that up until a few weeks ago, I didn't own an eyeshadow palette? (I owned about fifty million quads, duos and singles, but no palettes.)

The last time I went shopping with my sister, we both decided it was high time we bought one. We didn't want to spend a fortune, and I'd heard nothing but good things about Sleek makeup, so we both decided to get the Sleek i-Divine palette in Au Naturel. There is a huge choice of Sleek palettes, and we were seriously tempted by a lot of them - pastel colours, bright colours, jewel colours - but we both felt that neutrals were the way to go for our first foray into the world of palettes.

Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel


Just look how gorgeous this is. I love every shade, not to mention the... well... sleek black packaging.

Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel





I paid £7.99 for this palette in Superdrug, which I think is a real bargain, as there is no shade here that I wouldn't use. Three of the shadows are shimmery, the rest matte. All of them are soft as butter, easy to apply and well-pigmented. My sister started using hers immediately, and when we went out for dinner that evening, I noticed how pretty her eye makeup looked. I, of course, wanted to save mine until I got the chance to photograph it. #bloggerproblems, and all that jazz.

Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel






Top row, back to front - Nougat, Nubuck, Cappuccino, Honeycomb, Toast, Taupe.
Bottom row, back to front - Conker, Moss, Bark, Mineral Earth, Regal, Noir.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I quite like it when makeup brands provide suggestions for how to put their products to the best possible use. I'm all for experimenting, and thoroughly intend to do so with this palette in the hopes of improving my eyeshadow game, but when you're not blessed with much natural skill in the in the makeup department, it's nice to be given a nudge in the right direction. The back of this palette does exactly that, suggesting a couple of combinations to create a "daytime smoky eye."

Here I am wearing one of them - Cappuccino all over the lids, Taupe in the inner corners, Bark through the crease and Mineral Earth on the upper and lower lash line. You probably won't be able to make out all the individual colours in these photos, but you can get an idea of how soft and pretty the look is. I'm wearing no other liner here, just Mineral Earth.

Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel

(While we're here, shall we just quickly address the polka dot shirt situation? Despite how it might appear, I do own other tops. I just always seem to be wearing this one when I want to take blog photos. I could change, but I'm always pushed for time/too lazy. Anyway, this is about the eyeshadow, so I hope you can overlook it!)

Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Au Naturel


In summary, I'm seriously impressed with this Sleek palette and now (of course) I want all the others.

What's your favourite eyeshadow palette? Have you got any of the Sleek ones, and if so, which ones do I need?

Kate x
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