February Favourites

So it's that time of the month again. No, for any men out their reading this whose cursors are currently hovering over the X button, I'm not talking about that time of the month, I'm talking about monthly favourites time. Duh!

It's also that time of the month that every man and their dog professes to not believe how quickly this month's gone by. And not one to buck a bandwagon, I really can't believe how quickly this month has flown by, and in all honesty, I'm not that happy about it. February's been a good'un for me, so I wouldn't mind it lingering on for a little longer.

Anyway, before I ramble on to March Favourites time, here's what I've been loving the most this month. And I emphasise most as I've made a real effort to narrow them down to just a few.

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer balm in Demure - Luckily, for the length of this post, I'm not going to go into a full on ramble on this as I have a blog post coming up soon all about the balms. So I will be very short and (probably not so) sweet and say that it is nude, natural, everyday lip perfection. The end. Done!

Ambient lighting blush in Dim infusion - I have a full blog post professing my love/fan-girling over this product here 

Dove Refresh + Care Dry shampoo - I hate washing my hair. Not in a trampy way - well, it probably is slightly trampy - but I have pretty long, thick hair...and a lot of it so in all honesty, washing it it just a massive pain in the arse neck. This dry shampoo is my new favourite. It's much less white and chalky than other dry shampoos (Batiste, I'm look at you!) it really refreshes the hair without making it sticky or clogged up with product. It also smells lovely too, always a winner...

Essie Luxedo - My new go-to shade. It's a dark plummy/purply shade (descriptive words are clearly not my strong point) that's slightly less harsh as black, but definitely as chic. Chic, I bloody hate that word...

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser - This is an oldie, but a goodie. It's not pretty, you're not going to be featuring in your fancy, dreamy pinterest-esque bedside table pictures...but it just works. I was ill recently (man-flu) and suffered from really dry, cracked lips (sexy) and this healed them in a day. It worked better than my Nuxe Reve de Miel, better than my Burts Bees...it basically was the only thing that got my lips back to normal.

The Blogger/Vlogger favourites. Always a toughie for me as I have many blogs and channels that I check out daily, but here are the ones I've been particularly loving this February...

Amelia Liana - I've always loved her blog and her appearances on Lily Pebbles and Anna's video's so I was a very happy girl when she started her own. And let's face it, look at that hair!! (talking of hair, she also made the world aware of the Oribe texturising spray dupe in the form of Charles Worthington's texturising spray. LOVE)

Essie Button - Oh I bloody love Estee's channel, I do. She's just so real (apologies for cheesy as f**k phrase) honest, and quite frankly hilarious. She's one that really gets her character across on screen and her product recommendations are always bang on too. Ultimately, I just want to be her friend. And yes, that makes me incredibly sad/the world's biggest loser. (SorryNotSorry)

Cath in the city - This is one of the fashion blogs I pretty much read every day. She's stunning, shows real personality in her writing and also posts some cracking recipes too :) She dresses quite classic with the odd quirky item or accessory. Personally I love that. So many fashion bloggers get carried away with trying to dress differently to 'stand out', generally resulting in outfits that really aren't that wearable/accessible. Cath gets it just right, in my opinion. For what it's worth (...probably not a lot)

A Fashion Fix - I love Hannah Crosskey's blog as a constant source of outfit inspiration. She can be quite daring with her fashion sense at times - I definitely need to take a leaf out of her book - and always manages to own items that I all of a sudden, 'need'. (Asos and Topshop skate shoes I'm looking at you!)

So I think that's about it for my favourites - and I haven't rambled into 2015, there's a first for everything - I've had a really really nice February and can only hope that Beyonce month - I mean March - will be just as good. 

What are you favourites from February? Any new products you're loving, fallen back in love with some oldies? I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Hope you enjoyed this post guys. As always, thanks so much for reading!


the pinafore dress

When I think of a pinafore, I am immediately brought back to my 4year old, pigtail wearing, school hating, the total opposite of 'fashion forward' self. And I am not joking about school hating FYI. Remember that girl that clung to her mums legs, flung herself to the floor kicking and screaming to get out of going to school? Yeah... I was that girl. My lucky, lucky parents :)

Anyway, reminiscing and brat confessions aside, I haven't worn or even thought about wearing a pinafore since I was around four years old. That however, started to change - to my horror - not long ago when I found myself walking to a Primark counter with a certain denim pinafore number in my (extremely heavy) bag. I bought, I wore, and I actually quite liked it. Hence why just a couple of weeks later, I found myself queueing up to buy it's leather - Ok, Ok... we all know it's pleather - counterpart.

Whilst wearing said counterpart, I had a couple comments including one from my boyfriend who really liked it (I know, shock horror) and another from my ever so complimentary brother saying it looked ridiculous. Its a hung jury...

Nice little front pocket. Because you always want to keep your phone, keys, any necessary item right in front of your boobs. Obviously... (#PointyTits)
So, apart from the straps which would decide to fall down at ever so slightly awkward moments, being on the higher end of the "how far up your arse is your dress?" scale and occasionally moving over so a whole load of boob would pop up... I really like it. I definitely wouldn't wear it on a work day - running around a TV set with your arse very nearly on display is never a good look - or a day running all over the place but on a nice, sunny, lazy day-off kinda' day, like today? I'll be reaching for this little number more often.

What are your thoughts on the pinafore dress - Rocked it before? Wouldn't be seen dead in it? I'd love to know! Oh, and if you have any blog posts wearing one, please leave your links below so I can completely copy you take inspiration for next time I sport one :)

Hope you enjoyed this post guys. As always, thanks so much for reading!


REVIEW: Hourglass Ambient lighting Blush - Dim Infsuion

My weekend post - or rather, more often than not, my Monday or Tuesday post as I'm usually in a Roast-induced coma on Sundays, leaving me unable to do anything but watch Keeping up with the Kardashians - was supposed to be a Valentines/Brighton post. That would be a nice idea, I thought to myself. A little bit of lifestyle, with an added bit of cringe, soppy-ness love, so my readers can see that there is a soft side behind all of that sarcasm.

Well guess what? Brighton and the outrageous weather in England thought that was a ridiculous plan and decided to screw over my idea to take a couple of outfit pictures, a few standard food pictures and of course, the casual cliche point up to the Brighton Pier pictures (oh yeah, I bet your devastated you missed out on seeing that one) leaving me with no option but to stay in and eat shit loads of food. Oh, and watch Keeping up with the Kardashians. Every cloud and all that...

Thankfully the rain calmed down slightly on saturday morning - I promise I'm getting to the point of the post soon and aren't just remodelling myself as a weather reporter - so boyf and I ventured into Brighton town center (which is beautiful by the way) where a gust of wind swept me off my feet... and straight into Space NK. Lets just say that wind really did do some damage after all.

Space NK damage, Exhibit A.
As the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders took the beauty world by storm, it was only a matter of time before the they produced the 'lit from within', "I look so healthy and glowing" powders in blush form. And as much as I try my very hardest not to get sucked in by Blogger/Vlogger hype, I failed once again in this case - story of my life *wacks out the violins* - and succumbed to Dim Infusion. Here it is in action...
It doesn't show up very clearly when swatched on my hand, but it's much more noticeable - and nicer looking - on the face. Demonstrated very badly below. Please excuse my tired face, slightly stripy as just highlighted hair, and non filled in eyebrows. Basically everything bar the blusher :)
Isn't she a bloody beaut? - the blush I'm talking about FYI, not the knob wearing it ;) - An extremely finely milled powder with peach and gold shimmers running through, Dim infusion is one of the lightest of the bunch. I chose this one because I love a peach cheek in the spring time - no pun intended - and also to perk up my face on tired days (that'll be every day then...) Not mentioning the fact my boyfriend looked as though he was about to top himself having waited inside Space NK for half n hour while I swatched every shade. 10 times over. So I went with my gut and picked the shade I went for first, and you know what? I'm really happy with my choice.

So here's my run down in bullet point form, as it a) saves you from having to read paragraph after paragraph of my waffling/Hourglass fan girling and b) stops you from wanting to top yourself/die of boredom from my waffling/Hourglass fan girling.

Pros -
  • Dim infusion is extremely natural which I love as it doesn't scream "I'm wearing blusher because I look like a corpse without it"
  • It applies so, so, well. Never looks cakey or patchy, hence the natural effect once applied.
  • It's makes your skin look so glowy, without being glittery which is extremely important. Looking like a 3year old has been playing with a craft set on your face is never a good look.
  • The finish and application is so good that it's very easily built up, which is helpful as Dim infusion is definitely more suited for paler girls. I'm not particularly pale (despite ghost-esque picture above) and it still shows up enough on me. For darker skinned girls I'd recommend this as a highlighter.
  • Finishing with a snobby one. It just looks expensive (which helps because it bloody is!) 
Cons - 
  • I'm not sure all of the colours are completely unique, which isn't a big deal to me as with thousands of brands and thousands of blushers on the market, I'd say it was almost impossible to bring out a completely uniquely colour that isn't dupe-able somewhere, right? 
  • The price. At £28 this ain't cheap. The angel on one shoulder said I deserved a treat. The devil on the other kept pointing out the fact that I could've purchased half of primark for that amount. Thankfully it was totally worth it.
  • The fact that they're so bloody nice, I know for a fact that I'm not going to resist going back for more. (although if my boyfriend's reading this, I obviously won't go back for more as we're saving for a house and are being thrifty) [insert guilty face here]
To sum it up? I love these little beauty's. Finely milled, brilliant to apply, natural but buildable and glowy without the glitter. Perfection!

So tell me, have any of you succumbed to temptation too and purchased one of these blushers? Anyone saving their pennies for one? I'd love to know what you think!

Hope you enjoyed this pose and had a lovely Valentince day - despite the rain, I know I certainly did - wherever you were and whatever you got up to. As always, thanks so much for reading!


London Calling: Covent Garden

After getting a really lovely response on my Borough Market post last weekend - you really enjoyed it didn't you Mum? - I thought it might be nice to carry it on as a bit of a series, a regular on the old blog, a little outlet for those planning on coming to London that need some recommendations/inspiration on where the cool kids go* or for those living in London but like me, take it for granted and don't explore it enough.

*Apologies for the use of the phrase cool kids, which without a doubt confirms that I am a) the total opposite of the definition of that phrase and b) well, just a bit of a knob!

Anyway, cringey phrases aside, this weekend I decided to put my tourist hat on - don't worry, despite being a total geek I don't actually possess a 'Tourist' hat - and head off to show you some more of my favourite London hotspots. Oh, and eat lovely food, drink too much coffee and spend way more than my purse/boyfriend would like me to. Jesus, the things I do for my blog and my readers. Such a trooper!

Enter one of my favourite places in London (...and the world) and also a beauty lover's heaven. Girls - and guys that get dragged along by their girlfriends - I give you the best of Covent Garden.
Covent Garden is easily one of my favourite places to shop, mooch (gotta' love a mooch), have some food, grab a coffee and just people watch.

There are so many unbelievable shops, restaurants and touristy outlets in Covent Garden that I've really tried hard to narrow it down to my favourites. So forgive me if I miss any biggies. Or have a thousand favourites.

Let's start with the big guns. The oh my god I'm in heaven Makeup and Beauty stores.
If you're a MAC fan, you're gonna want to head over to this store. Two storeys worth of make up goodies combined with the fact that the makeup artists actually leave you alone and don't pester you once you've told them you're "just browsing" (does that make me anti-social? #SorryNotSorry) makes this one of my favourite MAC stores. I know MAC can sometimes be thought of as a "higher end Makeup for beginners" but personally, due to the ridiculous shade and texture range of their eyeshadows and lipsticks, I'd say it's probably my favourite brand. Well, my joint favourite brand along with (the sometimes eye-waterlingly expensive/"I feel sick handing my card over" Nars range.

Talking of Nars, my next stop consisted of heading into Covent Garden's Seven Dials area to *Hides the purse and guilty face*... Space NK. Where else?
I actually never got many pictures inside as the shop assistants gave me and my - let's be honest, pretty huge dslr - camera a look that would make you think I'd killed their mum. (and also caused a "what's your problem bitch" from me. In my head, because I definitely didn't have the balls to say it to their face)

Things that caught my eye/put on my list to check reviews of before I go back and rape the store -

  • Oribe dry texturizing spray (although I may have to make a cheeky pit stop to Boots to check out Charles Worthington's Volume and bounce texturising spray - a dupe of the Oribe according to Amelia)
  • Hourglass Ambient lighting blushers - which aren't actually in stores yet, but I did have a good chat to the shop assistant about them - oh I love a good beauty chat, I do - and let's just say, you're gonna see me haulin'
  • The whole Sarah Chapman range. Say no more!
After much beauty/hair/Space NK goodness perusing, I decided it was time for a coffee pit stop. Any excuse...
This Costa is my favourite Costa ever FYI - yep, I have a favourite Costa, I'm that cool - just off of Seven Dials down on Shelton St. Huge and cosy, love! Oh, and it's also opposite Rokit, which is where I headed next. With a very quick OOTD squeezed in between...
Followed by a quick lunch break at Itsu - which I failed to photograph in my Hangry (hungry and angry for anyone not in the know. But as I - always late to the game Ellie - am in the know, I'm positive you will be too) - state.

... before heading to the heart of Covent Garden, the market, entertainers area - definitely not the official name for it - and the walkway. Oh, and Long acre street which quite frankly deserves a post in itself, but as I was too engrossed in my shopping and never got any pictures, so I'll have to save that for another time ;) (I do however, highly recommend the H&M, Zara, Jack Wills, Muji and The Garden Pharmacy on that street though. *mentally zones out, day dreaming of all purchases I wish my purse would allow me to make*
Chanel and Dior Heaven!
Shake Shack and Creme de la Crepe. I think this earns my first - and only - use of a very annoying word on this blog. Nom!
I absolutely love this idea. It's for the British Heart foundation and you can pay to have a personalised lock, locked on to the L O V E gates. A massive rip off of the love lock bridge in Paris, but very cute all the same.
And that I think is where I'll come to the end of this little Covent Garden appreciation post as I a) have probably bored you all to sleep by now zzzzz and b) really can't be fucked arsed bothered to spend another 3hours uploading more pictures with my painfully slow internet. #ShitBloggerSays

To conclude - Amazing (like, seriously amazing) beauty stores, every high street - and lots of high end - Fashion shops too, so many restaurants it almost takes a day to chose where you'll eat and generally just an amazing atmosphere. And lots of lovely architecture too.  Yeah, because I really go here for the architecture...

What's your favourite part of Covent Garden? Have you ever been there, planning a visit soon? I'd love to hear from you!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. As always, thanks so much for reading!


That Acne Velocite dupe

I'm not sure there's anything in the world that I love more than a great dupe or a brilliant bargain. (Well, apart from lipsticks, and blushers...new clothes are always a mood changer, chocolate and Indian takeaways are a bit life changing... Sorry sorry, I digress.) Which is why I was over the bloody moon - for any non South East Londoners/people who don't quite understand the common, cockney rough lingo, I was overjoyed :) - with a certain little item that I spied in H&M that looked a liiiittle bit like an Acne number I spotted on one of my favourite - if not my all time fave - bloggers. Kenza Zouiten. Pictured below in a coat that I've longed for, for a very long time. But just haven't got round to selling my house, car, and brother to afford it.

Slight exaggeration. But for £1900, I'm sticking with my homegirl, the high street!

Onto Kenza - who is infinitely more beautiful and photogenic than I'll ever be, so please excuse that obvious fact/be brainwashed into thinking we're the same person - and that Acne Velocite coat.
And here is, erm... my coat. Which I know that put next to the original, is maybe not as similiar as I thought - a by product of my rose tinted "I love H&M"/this will transform me into Kenza, glasses. But hey, bar the extra fluffiness of the Acne coat, I think it's pretty close right? 
For £39.00, you cannot go wrong. Unless you're one of those Made In Chelsea types that come out of the womb dressed in Balenciaga. In which case, I hate you good for you, but for the rest of us? This little H&M number will fill my Velocite cravings for the time being.

So, are there any other high end dupes from my second favourite thing in the world, the high street - nothing tops nutella in my eyes - that I need to know about? I'm all ears!

Hope you enjoyed this post. As always, thank you so much for reading!

© the Elle next door

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