A starry night manicure for Halloween

I love Halloween, and I usually spend most of October getting ready for it – can you tell? While Halloween itself is but one day a year, you can still let a little magic into your life this month with this pretty matte navy and gold mani, originally inspired by this Pin I found, which sadly leads nowhere now! The thing I like about this look is that it’s smart enough to be worn any time of year, but still has that special spooky something if you want to show some Halloween love without resorting to the obvious green, orange and black.

Halloween manicure OPI

Creating this look couldn’t be easier – you just need a dark blue colour, plus a top coat with gold flecks, and a matte finish. I used OPI’s Keeping Suzi At Bay, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Matte Top Coat.

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All I did was layer on one coat of Suzi (top), then two of Golden Gun (left), and then one of the Matte (right). I don’t know whether I prefer it glossy or matte, because either way I totally love this look! It took me ages to decide which blue to get, because usually I end up with a dark navy that winds up just looking black on my nails. But this colour is deep and beautiful, with a pretty pigment that’s perfect for autumn and winter!

Halloween manicure OPI

So, whether you’re celebrating Halloween, Bonfire Night, or any other wintery holiday, I think this is a great look that’s  opulent, classic and stylish all at the same time. Though, I still fall in love with pretty much any colour topped with The Man With The Golden Gun, so I may be biased!

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Wilbur & Gussie: A/W 2013 picks

My love of Wilbur & Gussie started after I saw a certain Duchess carrying the Charlie Gold Glitter clutch on tour in Malaysia. Of course, I had to nab myself one (with a 10% discount for my first order!) and it wasn’t long that before I knew it, I ended up with a Coco clutch in black velvet with an elephant clasp, and my personal favourite, a Charlie in raw navy silk with a red and gold ship on the fastening. So, I think it’s fair to say I’m a bit of a fan…

With that in mind, I rounded up some of the best bags in Wilbur & Gussie’s current collection – with a nod, of course, to where it all started for me!

Wilbur & Gussie selection A/W 2013
There’s just something about those quirky designs – the clasps, the fabric – that make me love Wilbur & Gussie… And of course, the fact that the name of the company is based on the founders’ (Brett Tyne and Lucy Lyons) pets is just awesome!
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Bustin’ out the secret Santa gift: Skyfall and The Man With The Golden Gun

Being an enthusiastic fan of OPI’s Bond collection, I had naturally been hankering after the amazing Man With The Golden Gun topcoat; a clear base with real 18k gold flecks. At £24.99 it was beyond my price range for a single bottle of nail varnish, so I was over the moon when I got it for my secret Santa gift this Christmas – thank you, Omar! *

Having seen some amazing combos for Skyfall and The Man With The Golden Gun, I decided to break it out yesterday for a trip to the Balmer Lawn hotel for a carvery lunch with my husband! We had our wedding reception here so it’s nice to come back – and I wore my new Amelia Check Doll Dress from Collectif too – you can see the gorgeous fabric in these photos:

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I love this top coat! It’s so opulent and beautiful – although I do feel a bit rotten when I have to take it off… It’s like throwing money away!

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(Delicious post-carvery Christmas pudding…)

I also had a trial run with my ’20s outfit for New Year – we’re doing a murder mystery and I’m going to be an AMERICAN FLAPPER. Very imaginative, I know… I’m wearing a navy Principles beaded dress with purple and gold Streamlined shoes from Miss L Fire (Christmas pressie from my hubbie), and I shall be wrapped in a dishevelled stole as per my character instructions. Here’s a bit of a preview:

20s outfit try-out

What are you guys doing to celebrate tonight? Let me know what you’re planning to wear – and have a Happy New Year!

* Yep, we always have a post-present reveal to work out who gave who what!

22 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Sundance

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Today’s shade was another lovely pot of caviar pearls! This time, the blend was called Sundance, and contained teal and yellow baubles, along with some discs of gold.

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I decided it would go perfectly with Headliner, so I broke that colour out again and did two fingers on each hand.

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I love the way the gold discs pick up the light – no wonder it’s called Sundance!

12 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Twilight

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Ooo, what a dark beauty this one is! Behind door 12 is Twilight, a dark, deep, black infused with golden olive flecks. Another confession here – my friends had already raided my Ciate calendar when they popped over for tea the other day, and Lorraine actually kidnapped Twilight to wear at a wedding last weekend! By chance, she had a beautiful black and greenish gold dress that looked like it was made for this colour. Luckily, she returned it last night – just in time!

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This is definitely my favourite shade so far (not including the Caviar Pearls, of course!) as it’s so unique and very pretty. Ciate’s site says: “A rich and glamorous black polish with teeny flecks of golden glitter for the ultimate after dark treat. Tremendously special.” It certainly is – love it!

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10 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Ladylike Luxe

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Today, behind door number 10, we have a beautiful, festive gold colour – named Ladylike Luxe! You might remember from a previous post that I’ve been searching for the perfect gold colour, and this comes pretty close. It’s nowhere near as bold as my favourite, OPI’s GoldenEye, but it’s a strong yet subtle gold that might be more suitable for the day time or low-key festive occasions where you don’t want to go too over the top. I guess ‘ladylike’ is a good descriptive for this pretty gold!

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Here’s how Ciate describes this shimmer: “Pure gold silk in a bottle. Iridescent gold with a subtle layer of shimmer to  catch the light. Champagne darling!”

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Very pretty – a true gold with a soft edge.

Lust List: little black shoes to go with your little black dress

You know I loves me some French Sole. I also love the new studded slipper trend. Put the two together, and you get these beauties! Black Henriettas 2Black dome studded leather Henriettas from French Sole! Oh my… Let’s look a little closer at these beautiful little studs!

Black Henriettas 3Even though I love the bold, rock chick look of the pointed studs of the current trend, these domed studs are beautifully feminine, like little golden bubbles! Black Henriettas 1

There’s something really Christmassy about these sweet flats – and it would definitely make a great Christmas present for a lucky girl! Purchase these beauties at French Sole for £150.

Nailed it: OPI’s GoldenEye

Ever wondered what happened to the golden nail varnish of my dreams? I’d been too afraid to try it on properly until yesterday, keeping myself to just a one nail swatch to try it out. Why, you ask? Well, because I didn’t think I could handle all that awesome at once. Who knows what could have happened? One minute, you’re painting your nails, and the next minute, you’re standing in the garden, holding your hands up to the sun, shrieking “EUREKA!” and doing a special nail varnish dance*. (Don’t look at me like that, you know which one I mean.) Frankly, my neighbours think I’m weird enough as it is. Anyway, I finally tried it out last night, and here are the glorious results:

OPI GoldenEye

Here it is in the daylight:
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Ahhh, so beautiful and shiny! The colour is actually glitter suspended in a clear varnish, I think, and you layer it up over several coats (this is three). This is the perfect way to get a complex, ultra sparkly colour, without it being overly girly or glittery (nothing wrong with glitter! But I wanted GOLD!). This, to me, is the perfect festive shade! Has anyone else planned some festive colours this holiday season?

* Actually, the real reason I haven’t worn it yet was because I was saving it for post-Thanksgiving/birthdays Christmassyness… WHICH IS NOW!

In search of: the perfect gold nail varnish

You know, sometimes you get an idea in your head, and you just can’t shake it out. I was like that with gold nail varnish for the past year and a half. I got it in my head that what I really NEEDED for the holidays was gold nail varnish. Proper bright, sparkly, beautiful, rich gold nail varnish, varnish that would say “HELLO CHRISTMAS! Yes, indeed, I am ready to party!”

People, I am pleased to say, my search is over.

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Please excuse the hasty rush job on these nails, I got over-excited when they were drying… Sigh. Anyway, I hope you can see that gorgeous shade on the bottom thumb there – that is the gold of my dreams! What is this exotic metallic varnish called, I hear you cry?! Why, it’s OPI’s Goldeneye! The MUST-HAVE gold varnish for 2012, I reckon!

In a clockwise fashion from the bottom, these are the ‘gold’ varnishes I am wearing: Goldeneye (OPI, the clear winner), Gold Coin (Revlon, just not at all what I hoped for, it’s basically just silver!) Glimmer (TopShop, my second favourite, but more of a bronze), Gold (GOSH, another tame looking gold), then Star Dust (Rimmel, another bronzy one).

Here, though, is the clear winner. Isn’t it beautiful? You can purchase this shade from HQHair for £11.

Clarins Odyssey Eye Palette

One of the hottest beauty products for 2012 is the Clarins Odyssey Eye Palette, four beautiful shades to see you through the festive season! As soon as I saw it, I had to bag one, because I’m a huge fan of blending gold eyeshadow in with a smokey eye during winter, to glam up a classic look for parties. Usually I achieve this with Pixi’s Nude Shade Wardrobe and a tap of MAC golden lemon in the corner of my eye, but I was eager to try something new!

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I had originally wanted to get this from my local John Lewis, but when I walked up to the counter, the Clarins’ lady shook her head ruefully at my enquiry as to the stock – seems like this is a real best-seller!

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It’s not hard to see why – these shades are MADE for the winter party season!

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Adding a touch of glamour and luxury, the palette comes in a pretty little red velvet pouch.

UntitledAlthough I was expecting the case to be metal, it was actually plastic – I guess it’s more practical in the long run and less prone to scratching or denting… The palette itself features a beautiful etched design on gold. Truly a beautiful Christmas item.

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Inside you get four pretty shades – three fairly standard for the ‘smokey eye’ look, and one rather special gold one! There are also two applicators.

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That gold is so complex and beautiful! Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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I’d heard this had great staying power, but I was still surprised at how smoothly this went on, and how well it stuck to my skin! The shimmer is fantastic, and I cannot wait to try out the smokey eye look with gold featured on the card that came with the set.
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The palette is still available online at Clarins for £30 – but get in there quickly, because this seems to be selling like hotcakes! As an added bonus, if you order from Clarins’ site, you get to pick some free samples with your order – perfect!