FROM DESK TO DO, EASY DAY TO NIGHT OUTFITS

Raise your hands if you're the kind of fellow gal pal who would usually rather run a bubble bath and spend the evening with Netflix rather than re-dolling yourself up to go out for the night because effort?

*Sees half of the population raising their hands and half of the population like "lol omg so old and boring"*

However, with Christmas season fast approaching and events and parties on a nightly basis being a sure fire occurrence, rather than indulge my hermit tendencies I've started to just, well, try and be the 24 year old that I am and actually go out a bit and live a little (although I do 100% believe that watching 10 episodes of Grey's anatomy in one night is living a lot too!) 

So in the last few weeks I think I think I've finally perfected my Desk to Do pieces and look. The little things that you can pop on or top up that instantly take you from work mode to WHERE'S MY APEROL SPRITZ AT PLEASE AND THANK YOU?
Can
We
Please
Talk
About
This
Jumpsuit?

If you couldn't tell by my highly annoying 1 word sentences, I am abso-bloody-lutely obsessed with the jumpsuit. I have to go in straight away and say that the fit is just spot on, almost as perfect as Ryan Gosling and you know, that really is saying something. But it's beautiful, the black velvet top half gives it the sassy, "I look cool and dressy but I'm effortless af" vibe whilst the straight cigarette pant-esque trouser makes it so perfect for a more formal work day. My favourite thing about this is that it's just so versatile. I love wearing this in the day time with trainers just as much as I love wearing this for the evening with a pair of SASS shoes. It's comfortable, it's flattering, it works for so many occasions. Basically I'm never taking it off and that's just isn't it? Yep, thought so...
Let's talk accessories. When it comes to transitioning from workwear to night out, these shoes are basically just it aren't they. The colour is beautiful, a gorgeous vibrant fuchsia pink that are such a standout piece without totally stealing all thunder. I love that they're slightly smaller in heel height so they're comfy af and the strappy open toe just makes them slightly dressier (although side note: I'm obsessed with pairing these with cropped jeans and a baggy jumper too *insert heart eye'd emojis here*).

The bag. The bag gives me all the Chloe vibes - for a fraction of the price - and has nestled itself nicely into my day to day wardrobe. I love the nude colour because it literally goes with everything, I love that it's a little bit bigger than the standard cross-body bag (and actually fits my iPhone 7+ in it) and also, thanks to the beautiful gold hardware, it not only looks stylish but also smart enough for both day and night.

It has many perks but being able to fit my 15 totally necessary, nearly identical pink lipsticks in it is obviously the biggest.

Lol.

I wish I was joking.

Bag 
The quickest, easiest way to immediately transform your look is with a slick of bold lipstick, and my "Dear Lippie make me 'out out' ready now' favourite definitely has to be Urban Decay's Menace. It's the most gorgeous opaque but slightly glossy bright Fuchsia pink lipstick that is so comfortable to wear but it just instantly makes an impact. 

My mascara of choice will forever be Benefit's They're real because OH HI LASHES, HOW YA DOING? LOOK AT HOW SASSY YOU LOOK BOO! For long lasting length, volume and curl, this mascara is your guy (plus the packaging is pretty damn cute too).

Kat Von D's Tattoo liner is a cult classic for a reason, and that reason is because it's bloody amazing! The tip is made of numerous brushes rather than just the 1 edge and this just makes it glide so much easier and helps the line to be more precise. The colour is jet black and it honestly lasts all day. I wore this bad boy when returning home from Disney and realised it had been on my face for over 24hrs (yes it's disgusting, I know, no judgement please) but it still looked perfect!

Finally, let's just take a moment for the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette which is just 50 shades of perfection! With a mixture of 12 stunning warm toned matte and shimmer shades, you are fully prepped for your office appropriate eye (I love Sauced and Low blow for this) and your going out eye too (Scorched and Dirty talk get in my life).
Oh I do love a great perfume. Nothing quite finishes off a look/outfit like a spritz of your favourite scent. It's something that for me personally, gives that boost of confidence. An air of sexiness. They say that scent is the most powerful sense and I totally get this, it can evoke a memory, it can draw people to you... and for me right now, I've gone back to a favourite of mine from Spring time, Guerlain's Mon Guerlain. The fragrance is a tribute to today's femininity (just me that absolutely loves that?), and is described as a strong, free and sensual femininity inspired by the face of the Fragrance, Angelina Jolie, and I've been obsessed with it since Spring time. Containing notes of Lavender, Jasmine, Sandalwood and Tahitensis, it's the perfect sweet, oriental and and sexy fragrance that I know will be a staple for so many!

And that brings me to the end of this post. I hope you enjoyed it and you're all fully prepped for a post-work night out (although if you have a date with Netflix and Pizza, I also salute you). Christmas season is fast approaching now so I hope these little tips and tricks and easy pieces that transform a look so easy help you to enjoy party season a little more stress free. 

I'd love to know what your favourite piece is? Also, what are your go to items for when you're going from Desk to Do? I always love hearing your thoughts :)


As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx


This post is sponsored by Debenhams

WHY I RAN OFF TO NEW YORK FOR 3 WEEKS

It's 2am as I'm writing this, jet lag is kicking my arse nearly 2 weeks after landing home from New York and I'm just sat in bed (with 4 bits of toast, a cheese string and a cup of tea fyi) in a strange daze of "I want to sleep/get me back to NYC/wasn't NYC bloody wonderful and incredible/do I go downstairs for another cheese string?".

So it's a mixture of emotions, you see.

I don't really know what this post is but that's becoming a bit of a recurring theme for this blog. My blog is my baby. My favourite platform. My one true love. But as my other platforms have grown this past year, I can't help but feel like I fell out of love with it a little. It actually had nothing to do with blogging itself and more to do with, "I'm awake at 6am doing emails for 2 hours before heading to meetings before coming home to film and edit and get a shit load of Instagram content in between and oh look, it's midnight and I really need to sleep". And then two weeks would pass without a blog post.

I guess, if I'm being totally honest, I've struggled for a while now. I probably should have accepted management after going for a few meetings with quite a few different "talent" agencies but always deciding I could do it alone and keep my 20% of the fee I'd lose. I probably should've looked for an assistant. But you see, the 19 year old that started this blog as a hobby just struggles to let anyone help out. This blog has always been about my voice. Talking about whatever I wanted to - often completely pointless thoughts that crossed my mind, but those posts were always my favourite - so having someone maybe reply to an email on my behalf, or edit a video, or basically do something that I only feel comfortable with myself doing was something I found really difficult. Impossible, actually.

So I've kinda fell into this place of, my Instagram and Youtube are growing and I've kinda got a good thing going on there, I'm working more than ever before/less than ever before because I can be picky and turn things down but the offers are always there, and I love my blog more than anything and I will find the time for it soon... and mostly, these 14hr minimum days are slowly burning me out and I'm not sure how long I can keep crawling on this never ending treadmill.

So a couple of months back, Jess and I decided that we'd go to New York for a month (well actually just over 3 weeks but it's less catchy to say isn't it). We love NYC more than I love Grey's Anatomy and I always knew at some point I'd stay there for an extended period of time. So that's what we did. I worked like a dog to get 3248934 deadlines completed, I put on an out of office and I kind of just ran/flew away. From London. From life. From waking up everyday to a job that I f**king adore but also a job that had started to overwhelm me and not be as fun anymore. In fact, I got to a point where I was working so much and so hard that it actually wasn't fun at all. Tears and meltdowns occurred on a near daily basis and it just got a bit too much.

So I ran off to New York to take time out and eat and explore my favourite city and oh my god it was the best decision I've ever made.
New York this time around was one of the best experiences of my life but I have to say, it wasn't easy. The first week we struggled. Big time. We struggled to work and get content in New York (because it was unseasonably sunny and sun is the devil. And there's lots and lots of people at all times #firstworldproblems. And actually we just wanted to have fun rather than work). I personally struggled because I was still stressed out about work and content and I wasn't managing to live my best Carrie Bradshaw life 24/7.

I think, realistically, that the issue lies with the fact that I thought I could run off to New York and leave the life that was stressing me out behind but actually, I couldn't. I couldn't do that because my job is very much based around my life and my job also isn't really something you can ignore for 3 weeks.

After the first week we started to settle into a bit more of a routine. We planned locations and outfits and timings a little better. We worked a little less and chose nights in with Sex and the city over editing videos until 3am.. we were a little kinder to ourselves.

We still had the most incredible time but I wanted to mention how tough it was at times because it's important for me to reiterate (for the 34035990395 time) that life is not as colourful and pink and pretty as it appears on my instagram. And behind some of those photos were tears and stress.

But also... behind a bloody lot of them were tears of laughter and joy and just the most overwhelming love for a city that felt, and feels, like home to me.
So overall, what was my final thoughts on being in NYC for 3 weeks?

Well, in short, I f**king loved it. Yes there were stressful times but actually, even they wasn't anywhere near as bad as they would be at home because I was in NEW.YORK.CITY.

I find it absolutely impossible to describe what New York means to me. I don't just love New york. I kinda live for it. As soon as I step foot off of that plane a ridiculously strange calm and zen-ness just washes over me and I immediately feel at home. 

And I think that's it. Despite loving London and being a born and bred Londoner and basically it's biggest fangirl over on Instagram (and generally in life), I feel more at home in New York than in anywhere else in the world. Maybe it's because after spending so much time there I know my way around. Maybe it's because it's easier to get anywhere in NYC compared to London because of the grid system. Maybe it's because generally American's are much cheerier than Londoners and all day ehhr day I was greeted with a smiling face and a conversation from strangers. Maybe it's because walking along the streets in NYC makes you feel like you're in a film at all times.

In all honesty, it's not really something I can put into words. It's just a feeling. A feeling of pure happiness and... belonging.

LOL LOL LOL LOL WENT TO NEW YORK FOR A MONTH A CAME BACK A TREE HUGGING HIPPIE, PLEASE JUST IGNORE EVERYTHING I SAY FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
I'm going to wrap this up now. In short, my life and my job had got a little bit too much for me and whilst I am eternally grateful that that essentially means I'm actually doing well... I just need to strike a balance in my work/social/downtime life. Which you know, is something I've been trying (and failing) for 2 years but this new positive Elle is convinced she'll get there*. So yeah, I ran off to NYC and basically lived my best life. It wasn't 100% stress free but it was just absolutely incredible in every single way. I have memories that will last me a life time. I fell in love with NYC even more and anyone that knows me will know that that was nearly impossible. I smiled, I laughed, I lived independently. It was just everything I needed and so much more. And it for sure will not be my last monthly NYC "Am I Carrie Bradshaw yet?" trip.

*Feel free to punch me in the face to referring to myself in the third person.

I'd love to know if you've been to NYC. Are you as much of a fangirl as I am? Where in the world makes you feel like home?

As always, thanks so much for reading and generally being top babes!!


xx

INVESTING IN CLASSIC BRITISH STYLE

There’s something about British style that’s just classic. Having now been in NYC for a little over 3 weeks and spending 99.9% of my time pointing at people and turning to Jess to say “OH MY GOD SHE’S SO COOL LOOK AT HER OUTFIT”, I can safely say that whilst to me, NYC style is as “laid back cool” as it gets, nothing quite beats London for looking effortlessly chic and sophisticated but with a bit of a quirky edge. 

And that’s what I love about British designers, of course you get your slightly zany - polite way of saying totally weird and batshit crazy - ones that make outfits similar to the Lady Gaga meat dress (what a great time to be alive) but generally speaking, you can rely on your classic british designer to produce something beautiful, chic and totally timeless. And that’s exactly what Mulberry have done with their stunning Mulberry Zipped Bayswater bag.

Otherwise known as bae. Otherwise known as my pride and joy.
I have always loved Mulberry. Ever since I purchased my first bag at 19 years old - a Millie tote which is now discontinued fyi - I have always had a huge soft spot for the brand, even through the years of obsessing over Balenciaga (Lauren Conrad owned a Balenciaga city bag and therefore I needed to own a Balenciaga city bag), the one that I always come back to when in need of a fail safe classic that I’ll still be using in years to come is Mulberry. So… more about the Small Zipped bayswater. I went for the Rosewater shade and it’s genuinely the best decision I’ve made since I decided to start watching Grey’s Anatomy for the first time. It’s a complete beaut of a blush nude shade which goes with absolutely everything but is a bit of a modern twist on the classic nude or tan. Inside, the bag is burgundy suede and oh my god it is almost too dreamy to put anything in! The hardware is gold - my fave - and the style of the bag itself is total perfection. Basically, I hope you like it because I’ll be wearing it for the rest of eternity.

The rest of the outfit is my classic “I’m feeling lazy so jeans and a tee it is but also if I whack on a blazer it looks like I made an effort, yay me" look and I have to say, I kinda love it. Sometimes basic really is better after all.

Which is fab news as I top the Basic bitch scale a thousand times over.
Blazer - Dorothy Perkins
Jeans - Topshop Orson
T-shirt - Super old from Primark
Shoes - Next from last year
Bag - Mulberry

It’s funny isn’t it, how your style can change depending on where you are. I brought a whole entire wardrobe to New York (I wish I was joking but I’m sitting in our apartment staring at 2 suitcases of mine that are fit to burst) and yet all I want to do is go out and buy a whole new New York wardrobe to fit in with the cool af style. I think a mixture of NYC cool and London chic is my perfect kinda style and with the help of bae (the bag, no judgement for the nickname please) and the impending mass haul I’m about to make (sorry bank balance) I’m hoping I might just nail it.

Lol. I mean I definitely won’t because the only thing I nail is the breakfast buffet/pancake stack/anything food related… but I’ll give it my best shot ;)

I’d love to know your thoughts on British style, is it something you deliberately invest in? Which designers/brands are you drawn to? Or do you just buy anything you fancy? I always love hearing your thoughts!

As always, thanks so much for watching!


xx

Bag so kindly gifted to me by Mulberry.

ESCAPING THE WORLD IN THE CENTRE OF LONDON

I am a firm believer in escaping the world for a while when you're stressed or sad or run down, or actually, even if there's nothing wrong at all... we all need a little break at times. Whether it's a spa day, a long walk or a phone call to your favourite person... sometimes you just gotta flick that off switch and take some time for you.

Says the girl currently living in NYC and who hasn't had a day off yet and is currently writing this at 2am.

I did however take my own advice a few weeks back and had a little staycation at the gorgeous Mercure Hyde Park and it was 100% everything I needed and so much more. I had an amazing shower, I watched X-Factor with a glass of wine and then I demolished a 29438434 course buffet the next morning. And that all makes for a prettttttty happy Elle.

So if you don't know about the Mercure hotel brand, they are a beautiful chain of hotels found all over the world, from all over the UK to America, Amsterdam to South Africa... each and every one providing total comfort and practicality making them the perfect place to work, chill or escape for a while. And that's exactly what I did when I booked in at the Hyde Park hotel. Let's have a little look around shall we? Sound like a plan? Ok fab, let's do it!
The bed. Oh my god the bed was one of the most comfortable beds I've ever stayed in, and if it wasn't for the fact that I had something important to do (book flights to New York with Miss Cocoa Chelsea) the next morning, I 100% would have had a lie in followed by a Sex and the city (it's a new addiction and I can.not.stop.watching.it!) marathon, followed by breakfast in bed. My room in the Mercure Hyde Park was a standard king room and whilst it wasn't huge by any means - which was perfect as I was on my own and I wanted cute and cosy - it was absolutely big enough. The bathroom is a beaut and the shower was one of those you just never want to leave. The coffee machine fills me with joy. I'm aware how sad that is but I do.not.care! But mostly I loved how calm and serene the whole place felt considering that the location is a very handy and quite frankly amazing spot in Hyde Park, i.e the centre of London.
Now, I travel a lot, and I spend a lot of my time in hotel rooms, but it's really rare for me that I feel comfortable enough to make a room my home and completely sloth out. My night in the Mercure consisted of a pizza coma (went out for pizza with Mum Next Door and had absolutely no regrets), episode after episode of Suits - HELLO HARVEY I'M IN NYC CURRENTLY, COME MARRY ME PLEASE AND THANKS?! - and a good pamper. Current pamper faves? The Aveda exfoliating cream cleanser which is a beauty of a face wash. It's creamy and super hydrating but does an amazing job of making your face feel clean without drying it out like a prune. The Filorga Hydra filler face mask is good, sexy moisturised skin in a sheet. Yes you look like something from a halloween movie - making it the perfect thing to use on a girly night in/getaway for one - but omg your skin will feel like it's been kissed by the skin gods after using it. I finished off with the Fresh Vitamin Nectar face cream which not only boasts the highest concentration of Vitamin C, it not only smells like a citrusy, fruity dream... but it leaves your skin feeling silky soft and nourished and I cannot get enough!
After the sleep of dreams I woke up, made a coffee, whacked on some makeup and headed down to my second home, otherwise known as the buffet. I was beyond impressed at the separate gluten free section and the offer of Gluten free bread too and the staff went out of their way to find out what was gluten free and what wasn't (which, you know, is always helpful when you have coeliac disease and you don't fancy spending the rest of the day in the bathroom out of action.) 

In general the staff were just a dream, super attentive and happy and helpful (there is nothing worse than grumpy staff that put a dampener on your experience), the room was a little beaut and my perfect little haven from life, and the location is an absolute dreamboat. Based in Hyde Park, it's smack bang in the centre of London but it's honestly so calm and chilled that you would never guess. It's the perfect place to stay if you need to be in the centre and it's the perfect place to stay if you need a little staycation escape. I for one will definitely be back!

It's funny isn't it, I always feel like the happier and more successful you appear on social media, the more people assume life is 100% amazing and stress free and totally perfect and the the thing is, it just really isn't. A lot of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears go into making everything look colourful and happy and carefree... so just remember that we all need a break at times, and it is absolutely not a weakness or a failure to take one. It's good in fact. We need to refresh and recharge to be our best selves.

BRB whilst I try to stop myself from transforming into Oprah entirely.

But I just think it's important to look after yourself. Be kind to yourself, you're doing the best you can.

I'd love to know what you do/where you go when you need to take a moment out and de-stress? What's your go-to "cheer yo'self up gal pal" routine? I always love hearing your thoughts!

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx


Post in collaboration with Mercure hotels but all thoughts, photos and extreme love of amazing hotels in the centre of london that allow me to fully relax, my own.


© the Elle next door

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