Autumn/Winter Trends at Brighton's Churchill Square

When you think of shopping in Brighton, most people will tell you to visit the Laines.  This alternative shopping destination is full of independent boutiques and vintage shops.  It's great for finding one off pieces if you have the time to rummage.  However, Brighton's main high street shopping complex, Churchill Square is a fantastic place to browse all the latest trends under one roof.  My one niggle with vintage shopping is the sizing.  I often struggle to find vintage clothes that fit, as body shapes have changed with the fashions and I find that most pieces are either teeny tiny or on the larger side.  The great thing about high street shops is that they carry clothes that are heavily inspired by the past and yet fit you perfectly.  Churchill Square is home to a wide selection of stores that do just that.  


As my degree progressed, I found that I had less and less time to shop and my shopping habits changed.  I went from leisurely browsing in places such as Snoopers Paradise and Dirty Harrys and turned to Miss Selfridge, Warehouse and H&M.  I found that vintage style pieces were widely accessible in Churchill Square and I could pop in for an hour or two and return home with bags a-plenty ready to continue with my dissertation or revision!

I recently popped down to Brighton to explore the Autumn/Winter trends available at Churchill Square.  The first is an extension of the Spring/Summer infatuation for animal prints.  Zara especially has excelled with cute tops and blouses and are often embellished with studs.  This fox top in particular caught my eye and is toughened up with simple chain detailing and would work really well with coloured jeans and a tweed blazer.  Miss Selfridge have lots of knitwear with animal motifs.  The leopard jumper was my favourite and would be perfect for snuggling up with a hot chocolate when it turns colder.  I teamed it with a pair of cut-off shorts that seem to be a Brighton wardrobe staple!



My favourite trend this season is heavily influenced by The Great Gatsby and 1920s glamour.  I was interested in how this could be translated into a more casual outfit and so teamed a grey t-shirt with silver peter pan collar with a pair of leather look jeans from River Island.  I love how this look can be dressed down with a pair of converse and boyfriend shirt, or dressed up with killer heels and lots of sparkly bracelets and hair accessories.




Of course this trend lends itself fantastically to more formal outfits; which results in looks that are fabulously feminine and glamorous but are also sophisticated and oozing opulence.  Textures are a key feature of this trend, with lace once again being a popular choice.  Studs, pleats, feathers and pearls also play a big part and look fantastic when combined together.  Miss Selfridge have a pretty pink dress that looks superb when teamed with a studded leather jacket and included in River Island's Chelsea Girl collection is a great black lace dip hem dress.  However, once again Zara has come up trumps.  The adorable lace and feather dress was a dream to try on.  It was just the right length and would be perfect for a Gatsby inspired cocktail party!  I also really loved their brocade pattern trousers and a cream lace blouse that featured a sweet pearl collar.

The Autumn/Winter pieces that have made their way into Churchill Square's stores have really impressed me.  I'm glad I picked out some transitional pieces that can easily be layered to suit our temperamental climate.  Having said that, I can't wait for the weather to turn a little cooler so I can be snuggled up that leopard jumper!  You can find out more about Churchill Square at www.churchillsquare.com.

What are your favourite Autumn/Winter trends?

Blackberry Picking

So far this weekend has been a bit of a lazy one so this evening I popped out for a bit of blackberry picking!  I felt a bit like a mouse from Brambley Hedge as I filled up a tub with shiny plump berries.  Tomorrow they're going to be made into jam, after I've been for a wander around a car boot!  It was really lovely watching the sunset and the town begin to flicker in the distance.  I think I'll be going on some more evening walks while the weather is still nice.

How have you been enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend so far?

Wishlist 004


I haven't done a wishlist in a while, but recently have spotted a fair few things that I'd like to get my paws on!  I usually wear teeny tiny earrings but love what River Island have to offer at the moment.  Those unicorns are especially cute!  I've been reading lots of posts about transitional pieces to take you from Summer through to Autumn and Winter.  With this in mind, I'm on the lookout for dresses that I can wear with tights and boots when the weather starts to get a bit cooler.  I'm getting really excited by all the A/W12 pieces that are filtering into the shops at the moment!

What have you been admiring lately?

Montagne Jeunesse Summer Skin Regime

I mentioned the other day how the environment effects my hair.  The same goes for my skin.  The schizophrenic British weather means that my skin needs intense hydration one minute and comprehensive oil control the next.  Montange Jeunesse have put together a regime of four weekly face masques that can help combat common Summer skin issues.  I really like that by using face masques you can treat yourself and look after your skin at the same time.  Montagne Jeunesse are a brand I can trust to deliver great results whilst being vegetarian-approved, made from natural ingredients and are paraben free.  They are also committed to their natural ethos; ‘Conservation of Energy, Protection of Animals and the Environment.’

Week One - Blemish Mud*
As many of us choose to wear less makeup during the warmer months, it's a good idea to start of by tackling any blemishes.  This masque contains aloe vera, willow, rosemary and witch hazel.  All of these natural ingredients are known for their healing properties and can help to reduce any problem areas.  This masque left my skin feeling smooth and mattified.  Mud based face masques are my usual personal choice as they seem to work really well for oily skin.

Week Two - Cooling Cucumber Peel Off Masque*
Cucumber is well known for it's cooling properties and this masque is intended to cool down skin in the Summer heat.  Peel off masques are a great way of removing impurities and dead skin cells.  I have to admit that this one didn't smell too pleasant, it has a kind of medicinal smell that wasn't to my taste.  However, the effects of the masque far out-weighed this.  After removing the it (the bit I like best as it's just like when you're little and peeling PVA glue off your hands) my skin was noticeably refreshed and firmer.

Week Three - Iced Crystal*
This masque is one that I preferred to apply whilst in the shower.  It is an exfoliating masque that contains spearmint and dead sea salt.  I found the level of exfoliation to be adequate for my skin , however it may not be right for those with super-sensitive skin who don't like heavy exfoliation.  The masque also contains sweet almond and jojoba oils to hydrate the skin and after using this, my face was silky smooth and more radiant.

Week Four - Very Berry*
Of all the masques this one was my favourite.  It smells amazing!  It's packed with blueberries and cranberries which means it's full of antioxidants and vitamins (there's even raspberries and grapes in there too).  This masque is another one that's great for targeting blemishes.  It also contains peach kernel oil and aloe vera; both help keep the skin hydrated and looking plump and youthful. 

I wanted to publish this post while we still had some summery weather so I have used the masques more frequently than suggested.  However, I've been impressed with each one and feel that they are well suited to common Summer skin issues.  It's definitely worth tailoring your skin care with environmental factors in mind.  As regular readers will know I'm a big fan of all things natural and there's no better way to treat your skin with the natural beauty products Montagne Jeunesse have to offer.

All the masques are available at most major retailers such as; ASDA, Superdrug, Tesco, New Look and Morrisons (I even spied some in Primark the other week).  They are priced at £1.09 each.

What's your Summer skin care routine?

Summer At Last

I've been wanting to start doing outfit posts for a while now but a two things have been getting in the way; the weather and my confidence.  What with the fantastic weather this weekend, I really had no excuse to step out from behind the camera.  This is a bit of a practise post as there's obviously lots I need to work on - actually being able to see the clothes clearly would probably help!
 


Mint T-shirt - H&M  |  Floral Skirt - Charity Shop  |  Necklace - M&S  |  Bag - Primark  |  Shoes - Topshop
Generally speaking, I much prefer piecing together outfits during the cooler parts of the year.  I'm not particularly good in the heat and really don't like feeling uncomfortably hot and sticky.  My mum picked up this skirt in a charity shop for me last year.  It was full length, so it was altered to a more summery shape.  It's lovely and floaty and perfect for hot days.  I paired it with a mint H&M basic T-shirt and candy coloured shoes and necklace.


What are your tips for dressing for this weather?

Barbara Daly Make-up Concealer Review

I purchased the Barbara Daly Concealer after running out of my beloved MAC Prolongwear Concealer a few weeks ago.  I had intended on going for the Collection Lasting Perfection, but was in a mad rush at 8pm and Tesco was the only place still open.  This is my first time trying the Barbara Daly brand and so far I'm very impressed.







The Good
Compared to high end concealers, high-street brands normally carry a limited shade range in concealers and Barbara Daly is no exception as there are only three variants of shade.  However, I picked up the lightest shade 'Fair' and it's a really good match for my skin and also works well with my MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation in NC15. 

The concealer itself is thick and creamy in consistency and covers redness and dark circles with ease.  I also really like that the coverage is buildable, making this a really versatile product.  I find that if I apply and blend the concealer with my finger, I get a much more natural look.  But for night-time or days when more coverage is needed, I still apply with my finger but then gently blend with a brush.  Provided I set my make-up with powder, the concealer also lasts all day (although I have had to touch up in the afternoon on particularly hot days).

The Bad
My only niggle with the Barbara Daly concealer is the size of the pot.  I've had mine for a month and am just starting to hit pan.  

The Verdict - 8/10
I'm really glad that I picked this up.  The shade and coverage that the product gives me is fantastic and I'll certainly be repurchasing.  The size of the pot does mean that it's great to have in your handbag.  Although the MAC Prolongwear Concealer for me does work out at better value for money, as a tube will last me about six months, the Barbara Daly Concealer is great to have as an alternative. 

Barbara Daly Concealer is available at Tesco, both in store and online for £4.25 (although for some reason the darkest shade is 25p cheaper)!

Have you tried any Barbara Daly make-up?

Blog Awards and 10 Facts About Brighton Girl

Blog award nominations seem to come along in pairs.  This week Brighton Girl has been nominated for both the Leibster Award and the Sunshine Award, by Elle and Chealsea.  Both girls have fantastic blogs and if you click on their names you can have a little read.  A big thank you to both of you for nominating me.  Once again I've decided to combine the two and compile 10 facts including some of the questions from Elle.  I'm also going to cheat a little and only tag my sister, Abigail Robyn.


1. What is your theme song?  I don't have a theme song as such but it has been said by a good friend that Let's Go Surfing by The Drums is me in a song!  There's a few songs that kind of considered as 'our song' by different groups of friends; Set You Free by N-Trance and Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon both have particular meaning and remind me of my lovely friends!

2. What is your least favourite food?  I really hate Baked Beans on their own!  They have to be covered in HP Sauce!


 4. What is your favourite housecleaning chore?  I really quite enjoy organising things (I'm secretly a bit of a Monica).  This includes a lot of colour-coordinating of books, DVDs and clothes!

5. What did you want to be when you're older?  I've wanted to be a whole host of things, ranging from a farmer's wife to an interior designer to a journalist!  I'm still not sure what I want to do!


7. What generation do you wish you had been part of?  This is an easy question, either the 60s or the 80s.

8. Is the glass half-empty or half-full?  I try my best to see the best in everything so I'd like to think it's half-full.

9. What are your goals for the future?  To continue to enjoy blogging and to lead a happy life.


Vo5 Hot Oil Moisture Soak Elixir Review

I decided to try the new Vo5 Moisture Soak Elixir after my hair became very dry and unmanageable.  The ever-changing British weather often plays havoc with my hair.  One day it will be damp and the next baking hot.  Add to that my daily styling and it's no wonder my hair decided to have a tantrum!  My mum had recommended the Vo5 Hot Oil treatments, but after seeing this on a few blogs, I decided to give it a go instead.

The Good
I love that there's no faffing with heating this up, making this perfect for when you don't have a lot of time to spare.  In the shower you simply apply to wet hair, then after a minute rinse it off, shampoo and dry.  There's also a handy guide along the side of the packaging, so that you know how much product to use in each application. 

After using the Moisture Soak Elixir my hair isn't just back to it's normal self, it's shinier and stronger too!  The effects of the treatment are still evident after a few days of using it.  The packaging assures me that you can use the product as much as you like without overloading your hair, but I find that this is the perfect weekly treatment for my hair.

The Bad
The only negative point I have with this product is the packaging.  The product itself is really rather runny and getting it out of the tube can be a bit messy and I often end up spilling a bit.  The Moisture Soak Elixir works so well that I hate to see it being wasted!

The Verdict - 9.5/10
Quite frankly, I'm amazed at how this has managed to tame my hair!  I love that it's so quick and easy to use and that it's so affordable (I picked mine up for £4.29 in Boots).  Vo5 Moisture Soak Elixir is definitely going to become a permanent feature in my hair care routine.

What products do you use to keep your hair under control?

Books vs Films

I love books. For me it's the chance to submerge myself into the imaginary world that the author has created that really captivates me.  I know many people who are rather snobbish in their opinions towards film and TV adaptations of novels.  But I relish the opportunity to experience how other people interpret and react to literature.  I admit that most of the time I prefer the original written version, but there are occasions when the cinematic variant has triumphed (...I wouldn't know the Harry Potter stories if it weren't for the films)!

Two adaptations I'm really looking forward to are Baz Luhrmann's take on The Great Gatsby and the first of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films.  At the moment I'm about half way through The Hobbit.  Gandalf is perhaps one of my favourite characters of all time, and I particularly enjoyed Ian McKellen's portrayal of him in the LOTR movies.  I finished reading Gatsby a couple of weeks ago and was enthralled from the first page.  I love the timeless and almost twinkling style of Fitzgerald; everything seems to exude sparkle and glamour.  From what I've seen in the trailer, I think that Carey Mulligan is perfect as Daisy and can't wait for the film's release for some major fangirl action! 

What do you think of the trailers for both books?  Are you a die-hard novel fan or a film enthusiast? 

Water Lilies

The glorious weather we've been having recently has meant that I seem to be stumbling across more and more beautiful parks nearby where I live.  It's been so lovely enjoying the green spaces at their best in the sunshine.  One of the parks has a small pond and is full of bright white water lilies and even more lush green lily pads.  I kept expecting to see a tiny frog prince hiding away amongst them!





Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spa Masks Review*

As a big fan of natural beauty products, I really like the range of Montagne Jeunesse skin care.  Not only are the products made from natural ingredients but they are also vegetarian-approved and paraben free.  Two new additions to the extensive range of face masks are the Glacial Clay Spa mask and the Dead Sea Mud Spa mask.  Both use the innovative technique of infusing bamboo fabric with clay.  I've never used a fabric mask before and was keen to try them out.

The Good
Both masks were extremely easy to apply; you simply unfold the bamboo fabric and smooth it onto your face after cleansing.  You then leave them on to work their magic for 10-15 minutes before removing and rinsing off the clay residue.  I found that after some tactical smoothing and adjusting the masks fitted my face reasonably well and both felt extremely comfortable to wear.

The Dead Sea Mud Spa mask has a fresh scent to it.  Seaweed and kelp make this mask packed with minerals and vitamins.  I found that my skin was super soft after using this one.  I also found that it was perfect for tackling my oily skin, afterwards it felt more matte and my pores were noticeably reduced for at least a full 24 hours of using the mask.

The Glacial Clay Spa mask also smells fresh and clean.  As well as glacial clay, this mask is anti-oxidant rich thanks to the cloudberries and red grapes.  After using I found that my skin was visibly hydrated and clearer. 

The Bad
The only slight negative point I have with the masks is the fit of the fabric.  However, this can be overcome with some clever folding and rearranging.   

The Verdict - 8/10
I really like these masks.  Montagne Jeunesse is a brand I can trust to be packed full of natural goodness and produce products that actually work.  I'm really impressed by the Dead Sea Mud Spa mask and it's pore minimising capabilities and can see it becoming a regular feature of my weekly skin care routine as it's so affordable.

It's not just the face masks that I'm impressed with.  "Montagne Jeunesse is proud of its uncompromising natural credentials and ethos for ‘Conservation of Energy, Protection of Animals and the Environment.’"  In the past the company has launched campaigns to save animals, built a wind turbine to reduce their carbon footprint and it's factory is super eco-efficient.  Their dedication to their eco values is commendable and I wish more beauty companies would follow suit. 

Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas are £1.49 and available from Boots (Mid-August), ASDA (September) and now available at www.montagnejeunesse.com.

Bedroom Inspiration

I'm in the process of re-decorating my bedroom.  I've never really had a girly room (bar the princess wallpaper that adorned my walls briefly when I was four or five) so this pink theme is certainly something new for me!  It's going to be so nice to have somewhere a bit feminine and grown-up to relax in.  

Via Pinterest
So far my inspiration has been found on Pinterest, after hours and hours glued to different boards!  My bed is similar to the ones in the pictures, but with brass effect finials.  The main things I'd like to have in my room would be pink and white patterned bedding, fancy frames and a warm neutral palette.  My budget is a little tight so I'm hoping lots of thrifty finds will help accessorise the room.  Fingers crossed I can find things similar to these...

What colour theme would you go for?  Do you have any tips for finding thrifty bedroom accessories?