My Perfect Garden Party Shoes

ruth crilly summer shoes

I tend to get through most of the summer scuffing about in flip-flops, but I have a couple of “outdoorsy” garden party things to attend this year and so I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of shoes. They needed to be wedges because stiletto heels are absolutely useless for walking over a) lawns and b) decking. They also needed to be high-ish, but not so high that I might pop a kneecap if I lost my balance. I wanted brown, beige or neutral-ish colours because I imagined a bit of a seventies vibe about the whole affair, and I didn’t want to spend too much because inevitably these would be shoes that would be worn a few times and then get stuck at the back of the wardrobe indefinitely.

And then I found these in Topshop: the Wish Buckle Espadrilles. If ever a product name was going to put me off it would be this – I have a funny hangup about the word “buckle” and “wish” is something a five year old would come up with -but they are suitable nonetheless. Perfectly seventies, not so difficult to walk in and relatively purse-friendly at £42. Sorry about the rough and ready photo – you can obviously see better and clearer ones online at Topshop – but I had to make do with six o’clock lighting and a laminate floor. (Roll on house renovations.) The Wish wedges come in a few different colours; I chose tan because they match the outfits I have in mind, but I really like the pastel colours too. You can find the whole selection here.

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Freedom Pro Highlight Powders | #FreedomWeek

Freedom Pro Highlight Powders | #FreedomWeek

I love makeup, but there are two products in particular that I can never resist and they are; eyeshadow palettes and highlighters. I own a ridiculous amount of both, but I just can’t resist adding new ones to my collection. I am a massive fan of the Makeup Revolution I ♥ Makeup Blushing Hearts Baked Highlighters, so I was excited when I saw Freedom had a range of highlighters too although I was a little worried that they might be identical to the Makeup Revolution Blushing Hearts or Vivid Baked Highlighters but I decided to order them anyway as they’re only £3 each.

Freedom Pro Highlight Powders | #FreedomWeek

There are two shades available of the Freedom Pro Highlight Powders; Brighten and Glow and each powder contains an impressive 7.5 grams. The packaging is quite sleek, and is a little similar to the Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighters except these powders have flat lids, whereas the Vivid Baked Highlighters have domed lids which makes them difficult to store so I much prefer the flat lids of these Freedom Pro Highlight Powders. Each compact feels really solid and robust, and I love the design of the powder itself as it has a wave like design with Freedom engraved into the powder. The design of the powder is very similar to the MAC Extra Dimension Powders which I’m pretty sure was intentional.

Freedom Pro Highlight Powders Freedom Pro Highlight Powders Freedom Pro Highlight Powders

The texture of the powders is a little rough when you touch it with your fingertips, which made me think they’d be pretty chunky once applied to the skin but I needn’t have worried as they’re the complete opposite. I couldn’t believe how smooth, and silky they were to apply.. there is absolutely no chunkiness to them whatsoever, and they’re so pigmented which I hope you can see from the swatches above – these are from circling my finger around the pan just twice (amazing I know). Shade wise, Brighten is a peachy pink shade in the pan but on the skin, it’s more of a pretty pale champagne which I absolutely love and I think it would suit any skintone whatsoever. Glow is an incredible yellow gold.. I’ve never seen an highlighter with such a strong yellow tone to it, it’s just stunning.

Not only are Brighten and Glow beautiful highlighters, they’re also amazing as eyeshadows as they’re so shimmery and I particularly like using them as toppers for my eyeshadow for a metallic finish. There’s no doubt that these are very intense highlighters, but I love to use a fan brush to apply them to the high points of my face and they just give the most gorgeous luminosity to my skin – I can’t quite believe that they’re only £3 each.  I really love that Freedom have got a shade for cool toned skin as well as warm toned skin, but honestly both of them suit my cool toned skin so don’t be put off by either of them as I’m sure they’ll work for you too.

Now are they identical to the Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighters or the Makeup Revolution I ♥ Makeup Blushing Hearts Highlighters? I’m very happy to say that they really aren’t identical. I am planning on doing a post with swatches of all of them soon so you can see them all side by side, but I assure you both Brighten and Glow are unique shades, and aren’t just repeats. I absolutely love them both and cannot recommend them enough if you love highlighters as they’re just amazing and quite possibly my favourite Freedom Makeup product…

The post Freedom Pro Highlight Powders | #FreedomWeek appeared first on Miss Makeup Magpie.

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Shu Uemura Ultimate Makeup Palette

Shu Uemura Ultimate Makeup Palette

Hold on to your beauty hats! This is a very sneaky peek of the mega palette from Shu, the Shu Uemura Ultimate Makeup Palette. I don’t have a lot of information on it yet (and I know there is another exciting bumper product coming, too, which I’ll post about asap) but can tell you that it goes on sale in Harrods in June.

If you’ve got your eye on this, you’ll have to start saving (well, I would, anyway) because it’s a very cool £792! It’s absolutely a make-up lover’s dream with 80 shades.

NB: #mathsfail @joannajana spotted there are in fact, 72 shades! #bloggerfail

The post Shu Uemura Ultimate Makeup Palette appeared first on British Beauty Blogger.

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Topshop Maternity: Outfits for Every Occasion

topshop maternity clothes

I’ve been doing some styling this week; Topshop set me the task of creating a maternity mini-shoot for this advertorial*, finding different outfits for different occasions. A nice little challenge, as it has all been a bit dry on the old fashion front, recently – having an ever-changing figure does not make life easy when it comes to clothes shopping, and so my off-duty uniform has basically consisted of the same pairs of leggings and jeans, worn on rotation, topped off with huge t-shirts and bits of knitwear that I can manage to stretch over my bump!

So a “maternity clothes for every occasion” styling post was just up my street. Granted, most of my “occasions” are very casual – it’s not like I’m going out clubbing at the moment, or finding suitable attire for a dirty weekend in St Tropez – but there are subtle differences! Here we go:

topshop maternity clothes

Something Smart for Work

What I have really struggled with, pregnancy dressing-wise, is finding that middle-ground between casual and try-hard. You know when you have to go to a meeting and you don’t want to wear jeans, but you also don’t want to look like an overly-keen candidate on The Apprentice? This dress hits the sweet spot with its smart fabric and “body-con” side panelling.

topshop maternity clothes

It’s pretty tight, though, so I took the sex factor down a bit by throwing a nice long cardigan on over the top! The Geometric Bodycon Dress is £30 here (I might be tempted to take a size up, it’s very snug!) and Salt and Pepper Cardigan, £30 here.

topshop maternity style

Something Slouchy for Home: Part 1

Because – let’s face it – I spend a hell of a lot of time at home, working on my computer. And when I’m squirrelled away, incognito, I just want to be comfortable. So: Topshop Maternity Luxe Charcoal Joggers (a lot softer than the other jogging bottoms and with a kind of “sport-luxe” look to them) and a simple black “slubby” t-shirt. The joggers are £28 here, the T-shirt is £14 here.

topshop maternity style

Something Slouchy for Home: Part 2

Well, a girl has to have options even if she is staying at home! This outfit is a little more structured, though – the ponte leggings are quite thick and firm, more like trousers than leggings, and so you could throw on some boots and a leather jacket with this and feel confident meeting the outside world. It’s kind of like…smart slouchy. I’ve had loads of compliments on my Salt and Pepper Jumper (£36 here) and I have to say that the leggings (£20 here) would be fine post-baby too, as well as being useful from very early pregnancy when you can’t bear to wear anything tight in the tummy region.

topshop maternity style

Something Familiar for Everyday

My old daily “uniform” was always jeans, a vest top and a plaid or checked shirt. It’s what I feel most me in. And so this is probably my favourite outfit. So much so that I’ve done two options! Both great for everyday trips into town for appointments and events, meeting friends, going for lunch, doing stuff at the weekend… The first version shows the Soft Checked Shirt (£38 here) with dark grey Leigh Jeans (super-skinny, nice soft feel, £38 here) and a grey ribbed vest (£6 here).

topshop maternity style

Version two is a bit double-denim; dark-vintage Leigh Jeans (go down a size – all the other washes seem to run true to size but these came up a little bigger on me! They are £38 here) with a peach-coloured vest (£8 here) and Oversized Chambray Shirt. The shirt seems to have disappeared from online, but it might be in-store still…

topshop maternity style

Something Dressy for Evening

Actually, I say evening, but this little black dress is just as suitable for daytime with some flat ballet pumps. Dresses with full skirts like these do tend to make you look very pregnant, but I quite like that – the resulting shape is somehow quite cute and feminine! The lace panel detail on the shoulders of this LBD is lovely, too… £28 here.

topshop maternity collection

Something Different Because…

I almost forgot about this one; I picked out a top in a colour that I’d never usually wear, just because I thought that it might make a nice change. I’m still not 100% sure whether this kind of shade suits me – what do you think? It’s the Maternity U-Neck Top (£18 here). I’ve gone for black jeans with it (Leigh again, I just really like the fit) but actually, it would be quite nice with something grey.

You can find Topshop’s Maternity Collection online here.

*This post is a Topshop advertorial. For your reference, I am usually a UK10 and all of the items shown are a UK10, so fit true to size except where noted. I was 28 weeks pregnant when the pictures were taken. Hope that helps!

The post Topshop Maternity: Outfits for Every Occasion appeared first on A Model Recommends.

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The Importance Of Diversity In Beauty

It’s not hard to understand why women today are under increasing amounts of pressure to look and feel a certain way. Airbrushed images of stereotypical perfection are practically force-fed to us on a daily basis; everywhere we look there’s an incredibly poised and traditionally beautiful woman in her undies attempting to sell us an idea of ultimate confidence. If we just buy that lipstick/drink that beverage/wear that dress/use that face cream we’ll become the person we’ve always wanted to be! I’ve grown up believing that my body in its natural form is not to be celebrated; if anything it’s something to be ashamed of and wrapped away, simply because I don’t look like the six foot Amazonian Goddesses that strut down the runway or feature on the front covers of my favourite magazines. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colours and forms, and it’s vitally important that women are represented in all their glory – on the telly, in magazines, within the fashion industry and as part of beauty campaigns. None of us are the same and that’s what makes us all beautiful; if we were all carbon copies the world would be a very dull place indeed, so it’s vitally important that we learn to embrace our imperfections or differences and celebrate them. Whether you’ve got a wobbly bum, greying hair, laughter lines or all the freckles, you’re beautiful just the way you are.

I do find it incredibly frustrating that the beauty industry in particular can be very one-dimensional. It’s hard to relate to the images of perfection (that are often so manipulated that they don’t actually represent the woman behind the camera,) when I’m struggling with a saggy chin and boobs that seem to have a mind of their own. Although we’re seeing more brands embracing diversity, as a whole we’ve still got a long way to go. The importance of these campaigns is paramount to the mental stability, confidence and attitude of future generations – so that they don’t have to battle with the same issues that my peers and I have struggled with. Over the last decade, one of the brands that’s been able to establish and continue a thought-provoking conversation on female beauty is undoubtedly Dove. Their campaigns were the first to break down barriers and illustrate that every woman can be beautiful: it’s just that they have to believe it from within. When their ‘campaign for real beauty’ started over ten years ago, women were possibly at their lowest ebb with only around 2% admitting to feeling beautiful; skipping forward via a few viral campaigns (many of whom went viral before ‘going viral’ was even a thing,) and thankfully that’s changed somewhat.

More than ever we’re happy to embrace our differences, imperfections, wobbly bits, skinny bits and changing bits as we realise life is not defined by the label in our clothing. It’s much easier to relate to someone who looks more like us, thanks to the power of the internet and in particular blogs, and for us to truly believe that there is more than one definition of beauty. I’ve always believed it’s so important to see that other women have cellulite, wobbly tums, wonky boobs or toes that stick out of sandals – so that we don’t judge ourselves by unrealistic perceptions and measures of what’s aesthetically pleasing. Personally I’m incredibly thankful to brands like Dove who are making a positive change, rather than just trying to sell another pot of face cream by prying on our insecurities. I’ve always adored their ‘real women’ campaigns as something that makes me feel good, positive and excited about the changes that will inevitably happen to my body in the future. It helps that their products are pretty stonking too!
I’ve used their deodorant for years as one of the few to keep me feeling confident without irritating my under arms, while their body washes are always a fixture in my bathroom. Even their delicious body oils and lotions leave my skin hydrated, smooth and soft, while their hair care range is surprisingly good for such an affordable price. You just can’t go wrong with a stash of Dove. (You can read all my previous features here.) While I’m excited to see what’s next for them in 2017, I’m also to see what campaigns they’ve got up their sleeves to keep the conversation positive and empowering… The first of which is something really rather exciting, in association with my favourite weekend destination Wilko. (Yes, I’m one of those people that can spend two hours wandering the aisles of my local store and picking up all manner of bits and bobs!) Dove are on the lookout for TEN women to be part of a new campaign which will feature in Wilko stores across the country in 2017; it doesn’t matter what size, age, height or ethnicity you are – you just need the right attitude.

What do you think about the perception of women in the beauty industry? Are you excited about the changes that have been made so far, or are you concerned not enough is being done?


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