bereaved mistress.

One of my favourite tweets of all time is by musical and aesthetic genius Annie Clark, aka St Vincent: My summer look is “bereaved mistress showing up to the funeral against the wishes of the family.” I thought of her on Saturday as I wore this outfit, in which I felt deliciously un-summery for the temperature. At the centre of it is the absolutely wonderful, perfectly-fitting jumpsuit from Studio 8. It’s so comfortable and feels so deliciously high-quality, and the inky midnight blue shade feels so super chic- more so than black. There’s a lot of lovely, quality, grown-up stuff at Studio 8, which is the new plus-size range from Phase Eight. When they offered for me to try an item from the new range, I knew instantly that it had to be the beautiful jumpsuit, but there’s a lot of super stylish work-appropriate stuff that can often be hard to find for the fat babe. I borrowed my friend’s hat, which was a Primark bargain and I need to buy for myself, as it’s totally great. I think I am a Hat Person.

Jumpsuit: Studio 8
Shoes: Evans
Hat: Primark
Bag: New Look
Sunglasses: ASOS

I’ve got obsessed with the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipsticks. I want them in every colour. This month I bought two: Don’t Pink of It and Grand Cru, with the latter being what I wore with this outfit. It’s a gorgeous, long-lasting dark red that feels very sexy. Here is a picture of me wearing it, next to some graffiti that appears to say ‘slut.’

that’s what makes me beautiful.

Left to right -

Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation

I’ll admit it: I know I don’t wear the right shade foundation. This isn’t news to me. The foundation I wear is slightly too orange to be natural on me, and yet I’ve been buying this since at least 2010. I would even get my mum to bring it to me when I was living in Montreal because you couldn’t get it there. What can I say: I know what I like, and what I like is Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation in Light Beige. I love how heavy the coverage is while still being glowy.

MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Liquid Glow in Oyster

My current makeup goal is one word: glowy. I want to glow like a lightbulb. Like a glow worm. Like a setting sun. It’s what has motivated most of my makeup purchases this summer, and I think I’ve finally got it pretty much down. I mix the cheap-as-hell MUA Illuminating Liquid Glow in Oyster with my foundation and apply it all over my face. It just gives me a dewy all-over shimmer and I love it. Also the price means I don’t feel too bad about using a good squeeze every time I apply my makeup.

Benefit Fake Up under-eye concealer

I’m not totally sold on Benefit as a brand, especially the way it seems  they pay bloggers to give their new products good reviews that, when they hit the market, inspire ‘WTF?’ and ‘ugh, no!’ from anyone who buys them. But! This is my all-time favourite under-eye concealer. I’ve tried other when I couldn’t afford to replace mine, but I’ve decided it’s a cost worth undertaking. It’s honestly the best: moisturising, never cakey, makes my eye-area look brighter and fresher.

Nars Illuminator in 413 Bleecker

The next step in my glow obsession: applying Nars Illuminator to my cheekbones, browbone and a tiiiiny little bit on my cupid’s bow. The colour of 413 Bleecker (an instore exclusive, you can’t get it at counters so I gotta make it last!) is ideal for me as it’s not too gold, not to silver, just non-specifically shimmery and glowy. I love the sheeny effect without being too disco-ready.

Real Techniques buffing brush from Core Collection

Real Techniques brushes are The One. I can’t fault them. This one picks up the perfect amount of blusher and applies it evenly.

Max Factor Creme Puff blusher in Alluring Rose

I told myself when I finished my last blusher, which was one that came in the Lancome palette in Nectar Lace, I would buy Nars Orgasm blusher. When the moment arrived, though, I was hearing such good things about the Max Factor Creme Puff blusher that I figured I might as well give that a go before committing to a much more expensive product, even though I know Orgasm is absolutely wonderful. I’m really glad I gave the Max Factor blusher a chance. It’s a different shade to what I would usually wear- more browny than peachy- but I really love it, and it lasts so well.

Bourjois Maxi Delight bronzer + brush

This summer, I’m using the big bronzer brush and lightly sweeping this Bourjois bronzer over my forehead, nose and chin. I wouldn’t normally do this, but I feel it fits well with my Glow Goals and I like the way it looks with my natural hair colour.

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara

In a reversal of my blusher decision-making process, I had been happily using a high street-priced mascara (Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde) but when I had lunch with my fave fat femme dreamboat Stella in NYC, one of the main topics of conversation was what I was going to buy in Sephora the next day. She was evangelical about the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, so I thought I would give it a go. I am sold. I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase or if I’ll alternate with my old Bourjois one for economy, but it’s really, really great. It’s no secret that I was blessed with dark, thick, tenacious hair alllllll over, and nowhere is that more welcome than my eyelashes. I have naturally good eyelashes so maybe I don’t need as much help as a lot of people, but this is outstanding. A great brush, a great formula, and really exceptional in its ability to look A++ with two coats.

Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow pomade + brush

This is very important. This is hands-down the best eyebrow product I’ve ever used, and I have used many. Turning my eyebrows from a curse in my teenage years to a blessing in my twenties has been delicious, and I like to be able to keep them looking strong and defined. Anastasia DipBrow is absolutely wonderful: highly pigmented and long-wearing, it’s a really fuss-free way to get your eyebrows looking perfect with one product (plus a hard-angle brush). I’ve used this constantly for over a year and I’ve still got, I would say, half of the pot left. This is mostly because I have so much eyebrow, and I know friends who use it a lot more sparingly than me because it’s so heavy and it shows up so easily on their face, and theirs is lasting even longer. But one pot lasting two years? Great beauty economics.

And all in one place

There’s one product I’m absolutely desperate for, which I feel will be the holy grail in my pursuit of a warm, beautiful glow. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette. I know it’s hyped to death, and I would be skeptical, but I’ve really not heard a bad word about it. When a friend was getting her eyebrows done at Bobbi Brown in Liberty, I used that as an excuse to let the Hourglass lady put the contents of this palette on my face. I don’t know exactly what she did, and I will be watching 1000 YouTube tutorials to recreate it, but I came away looking like an unbearably radiant angel. My skin has never looked better. I’m thoroughly anti-powder because I love the glow, and because powder sticks to the little peach fuzz on my cheeks, but this was completely seamless and didn’t feel at all like A Face Powder. I am obsessed.

love is free.

As soon as this month’s Junarose Style Insiders delivery arrived, I knew it was going to become one of my summer outfits of choice. I wore it for the first time last night to see Robyn – my favourite pop star of all time – do a DJ set and a live performance of her new single, which I am obsessed with. The jacket is so light and perfect for rolling up in my bag and whipping out on summer evenings for when the temperature drops a bit. And this dress is dreamy. The perfect inky midnight colour, a great shape, and the perfect length for me. Not short enough to make me feel like I can’t wear it to work, but swishy and girly.

Bomber : Junarose
Dress : Junarose
Sandals : Dr Martens

I thought it was the perfect opportunity to break out my Illamasqua lipstick in Disciple so I could match my lips to my dress.

babe commune.

I love casual maxi dresses but they’re often hard to find. Imagine my delight when I saw this beauty on Simply Be while hunting for something to wear to see the Strokes in Hyde Park (and write about it for Simply Be!) A friend said I ‘look like the founder of a babe commune in the 1960s’ which is the best possible compliment! It’s the perfect length, has beautiful detailing, fits like a dream. Honestly, I am so happy with it!

Dress : Simply Be
 Sandals : Dr Martens

And here is me sipping a cocktail, with the World’s Best Sunglasses on my head!

personal growth.

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my hair. It’s now a year since I started growing it out, when I decided on holiday in New York that I would abandon the pixie cut that I’d had for the past two years, and it’s now getting to more or less exactly what I wanted: a bouncy, swingy, shiny bob. I thought I’d do a little support post for anyone currently growing out their short hair, just to show it can be done! I went back through my photo archives and chose one photo from every month since my New York holiday last June/July, and make a timeline of monthly growth to show that it really does happen if you can stick at it!

During this time I also decided to stop messing with the colour so that when it does grow out, I’ll have a sleek, healthy head of hair. On top of that, I realised my natural colour is actually pretty nice!

In terms of any advice I have, I think the key thing is to get regular trims, if you can afford them. This not only keeps the ends healthy and un-crispy, it also means that gradually you can shape your hair into the style you eventually want, and from then on it’s plain sailing. When you have short hair, unless you have a bowl cut, it’s very likely that you’ll have had it shaped into layers of lots of different lengths to give a pretty effect on very short hair. When that grows out, though, it’s not so pretty and can end up falling into a lumpy/uneven/mullet-y style, so keeping it in check and keeping the layers at attractive lengths has been the most important thing for me in terms of not getting disheartened and cutting it all off again.

I don’t know exactly what my endgame is, whether I want properly long hair again (hello, summer 2009!), but my eyes-on-the-prize goal while I’ve been growing it out has been the most beautiful hair I’ve ever seen, Anne Bancroft circa The Graduate. That volume! Those skinny highlights! I solemnly swear that if I could have this hair, I would blow dry it meticulously every single time.