Betty Hula - The Secret

Product taken from Betty Hula
Whilst on a blog trawl last weekend I found myself on Cowbiscuits reading about Betty Hula products.  I'd never heard of Betty Hula, but being a sucker for kitsch beauty products I was immediately sucked in by the cute hula girl, and upon reading the Cowbiscuits had noticed a "great improvement on a line on my forehead" I knew I had to give it a go.  With a 25% discount code to be used, I happily added a 30ml bottle to my basket and received my The Secret within a few days.

The Secret is designed to reduce signs of wrinkling and help problem areas of skin.  It has a "a special blend of ingredients working in harmony with your skin, to help repair damaged and tired cells, combat dryness and reduce wrinkles to reveal your most radiant, youthful self" and contains natural ingredients.

After using the product for a week, I have to say I personally haven't noticed anything.  BUT my beloved Ed (who was the one who counted the seven wrinkles on my forehead within a few weeks of us dating) has assured me that he has noticed a difference.  With regards to problem areas....at the moment my skin is suffering from the change in weather, and as a sufferer of sensitive skin and eczema on my forehead, I wouldn't necessarily say that true results have been seen in my case.  Whilst my head hasn't been flaring up with angry red skin, I'm not sure whether this is due to The Secret or my use of specialist cream.  Perhaps I'd see a different result if I used the oil during the summer when the skin on my forehead is less temperamental?

That's not to say I wouldn't repurchase.  I love the cute little bottle that the product came in, complete with a Betty Hula tag attached around the neck (reminded me of the "Drink Me" bottles in Alice in Wonderland...) and I love the company's use of Twitter to get in touch with their customers on a more personal level.  The oil really smells like it's doing my skin some good, and the tiniest amount (two tips of the bottle with a cotton pad placed over the top) gives a generous application to my skin. 

With three scented moisturisers to choose from, and my indecisive nature, I'm sure that more Betty Hula products will be making an appearance on my bathroom shelf once payday hits. 

Have any of you tried Betty Hula?

T x


Book Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Brace yourselves, this is an incredibly long review for an incredible, incredible book.

Image taken from bookarmy
Written by Lionel Shriver (a woman, not a man), the blurb says this:

"Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not of the boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him."

Pretty gripping stuff, hey? The book is formatted as a series of letters sent by Eva to her estranged husband, and this inventive style of writing was something that I really enjoyed in this book. I do however have to admit that this took some getting used to, and I struggled with the story at first. It’s my own book snobbery, but I tend to prefer those written by English authors over American books. I think it’s the use of language, and with this book that definitely was a factor in why I took so long to get into this story, as well as the use of overly descriptive detailing that this book uses.

The characters in We Need To Talk About Kevin are extremely well developed. By using the letters, Shriver really gives an insight into the mind of Eva, who is brutally honest about her feelings at times. Kevin himself is horribly repulsive and the behaviour he exhibits is unbelievable, yet somehow it is all so realistic.

I was talking to a friend about the point in the story where Eva tells baby Kevin “Mummy was happy before widdle Kevin came awong, you know that, don’t you?” and her response was to feel sorry for Kevin. I on the other hand pitied Kevin at no point during this story. At the end of the book there is an afterword by the author where she also details the divide in attitude of her readers that she has noticed.

"One camp assesses a story about a well-intentioned mother who...is saddled with a "bad seed", a child evil from birth... The second camp of readers appears to have read another novel entirely: about a mother whose coldness is itself criminal."

The one word I would use to describe this book is shocking. I couldn’t put this story down, and after finishing it at about 8:30am whilst sat in the office before work I was literally dumbstruck. I sat there in a state of shock and it took me a good half an hour to get back to normal. Never before could I have said that a book had the possibility to do this. The reason for this is (without giving too much away) that the reader’s entire belief throughout the book is shattered 13 pages before the end. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean, but hand on heart try and tell me you didn’t see that coming.

This novel was a break from the norm for me. I never usually go for crime stories nor (as I mentioned before) American books. But this book has stomped its way through to my top 5 books, perhaps even top 2. Seriously girls, give it a read. The Daily Mail said that it “knocks you sideways and takes your breath away…horrifying, original, witty, brave and deliberately provocative” and it quite rightly won the 2005 Orange Prize. If you like your books to be a more than the usual fluffy chick-lit then please give this disturbing tale a go. Not enough people have, and it has left so many thoughts in my mind….I need someone to share them with!

Have any of you read We Need To Talk About Kevin? Or any of Lionel Shriver’s other books?

T x


In the Spotlight: Lauren's Dressing Room

My featured blogger this week really does seem like a bundle of life and a barrel of laughs all wrapped up into one.  She strikes me as the type of girl who doesn't take life (or herself) too seriously, and for that reason I love reading her posts.  They're always enthusiastic and fun to read.  Not only that, I was genuinely overwhelmed by how nice she is.  Spotting a pair of gorgeous boots in a post of hers, I emailed to enquire where they were from.  Not only did she take the time to reply, but she actually hunted down a website that sold them, as the one she used was out of stock.  Do they come much nicer than this?!  Not sure....so ladies, get acquainted with

1.  Starting as we always do, sum yourself up in five words...
Socialite, Creative, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, Random.

2. What’s your blog all about?
Anyone who reads my blog will know that I’m a sucker for fashion. There are a lot of beauty and make-up blogs out there, and as much as I love beauty & make-up (and do try to include a lot about it in my blog); I prefer to stick to the fashion side of things. The title ‘Lauren’s Dressing Room’ pretty much sums it all up!

3. Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
To be honest, it was one of my friends who had set up her own blog. I’d never really heard anything about beauty blogging or beauty gurus on YouTube. It was all quite alien to me. I began reading my friends blog, enjoyed reading and thought to myself ‘why not?’ and started up my own too. I’ve always enjoyed taking photos and reading fashion magazines – I’ve always had my own thoughts on different things, and what's more perfect to showcase all this than starting up your own blog. I don’t really look to anyone else for inspiration. I kind of just have a good imagination and think to myself “What would I like to read if I was one of my followers reading blog?” I try and make my posts as enjoyable as I can to keep all my lovely followers interested. I try to post a lot of images as I think they’re really important in keeping the post exciting

4. What do you do for a living?
When I left school I went straight into a Childcare course at college for two years. Once I completed my course and got my qualification, I was offered a job straight away at a nursery I did my training placement at. I’ve been there ever since. I think it’s nearing six years now. My job titles are: Nursery Officer/Student Mentor/Behavior Coordinator.

5. You seem to have an endless supply of clothes…. what’s the one thing in your wardrobe that life would be incomplete without?
Leggings! They go with absolutely anything and everything. They’re very multi-purpose and I literally live in my leggings.

6. What is your most-loved piece in your jewellery collection?
That’s quite a tricky one, because I have a few that mean a great deal to me. I’d have to say my Vivienne Westwood jewellery because my boyfriend has treated me to various items over the years and they’re very special to me. Also, my Gucci necklace and bracelet because I treated myself to them when I jetted off to New York for the first time. Every time I wear them it reminds me of my holiday in New York.

7. Which is your favourite decade for fashion?
I’d probably say the 1960’s, purely because I think it’s the decade most similar to my own current fashion. The 70’s is a little bit TOO hippy for me, 80’s far too biker and 90’s far too trashy. However, I also love the 1940’s, really sophisticated.

8. How would you describe your style?
Hmmm, I’d probably say on trend yet with my own quirky edge at the same time. I’m not really sure how to describe it. How would YOU describe it? Ha, ha!

9. Which celebrity is your ultimate fashion icon?
Another hard question because I love so many – and they’re all very different. I love a mixture of Mary-Kate’s effortlessly cool fa├žade, Nicole Richie’s colour splash, Lauren Conrad’s delicate girly chic and Sienna Miller’s “I just slung it all together’ look.

10. Are there any outfits you’ve worn that you’d rather forget?
Ha ha, oh god yes. But, I was really young, so it’s forgivable right? I was really into the Spice Girls when I was younger and had a pair of platform trainers! Ha, ha! Fashion Police please?

11. Which trends are you looking forward to in AW 2010? Have you any style predictions?
I know that the colours; Rust, Khaki and deep purple are going to be really popular this Autumn/Winter, so I think I’ll be investing in a lot of those colours. Hmmm, style predictions... Snoods made a comeback last year and chunky knitted hair bands – I think they’re also something I’ll be investing in.

12. If you could only fit five items in your desert island survival bag, which beauty products would you take to keep you looking gorgeous?
Sun cream – I wouldn’t want to burn as I’m presuming the desert island will be scorchio! Vaseline for my lips, baby wipes to clean my face, mascara and shampoo! I wouldn’t want scruffy hair now would I?

13. Which blogs do you enjoy reading?
My all time favourite reads are:
Milly at Pearls & Poodles
Zoe at Zoella
Julia at Jules
Jazzabelle at jazzabelle's diary

14. What can we look forward to on Laurens Dressing Room?
Lots more outfit posts as they are my favourite to do! And hopefully more product reviews as I haven’t done many lately. I need to get cracking with those. I’ve tried to do a couple of posts about my every day life as I find it important for my readers to get to know the girl behind the blog. If anyone has any requests though, feel free to let me know. I welcome all suggestions!

15. Do you have any tips on how to make a successful blog?
I always sit and think to myself; “What would I like to read?” I tend to write about things I’d enjoy reading about myself. I try to keep my updates as frequent as I can to keep my followers interested and like to vary my posts.

Any more requests/questions I have Formspring and my username is: laurensdressing

Youtube account name: laurensdressingroom

The Spice Girls reference has really taken me back...I had a pair of those god awful trainers!  Very difficult to walk up stairs though, I lost count of the amount of times I tripped cos I forgot to lift my feet far enough to avoid catching the platform!
Lauren's Dressing Room really is a must, I love her accessories addiction and her outfits always look fresh and achievable.  Have a look at her recent post to see - her take on X Factor's Cher was spot on!

Who here is a fan of Lauren?


In the Spotlight: Lily loves Lola

Sorry it's late girls....I had to drive to Leicester and back after work on Friday and thought I'd made a scheduled post although actually this had just disappeared :(

This week's blog has it all.  Discount/free gifts for readers at Eyeko and Gift Girls?  Check.  Lifestyle posts?  Check.  Product reviews?  Check.  Hair updates?  Check.  Great giveaways?  Check.  Gorgeous pugs in adorable little t-shirts?  Check, check check....what more could you want?!

Now, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is another blogger who is just genuinely nice.  Her blog is welcoming, posts are accessible, reviews are straight-forward and to the point....plus did I mention the cute cute pugs?!

And yep, I'm sure these pugs have given the game away.....today's blogger is Victoria of Lily loves Lola
1. Shall we start as we always do? Sum yourself up in 5 words...
Friendly, worrisome, animal-lover, funny, perfectionist.

2. How would you describe your blog?
It's a mixture of everything - clothes, beauty, home interiors, pets, trips out. I like to keep a bit of variety definitely!

3. Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
I stumbled across a couple of fashion blogs at the beginning of last year and from that I found beauty blogs. I remember religiously reading Hele Says and Yummy Mummy's Beauty Blog, and one day I thought, you know what, I'm going to write my own! But I never thought it would be so popular. Not in a million years!

4. What do you do for a living? Is this your dream job?
I work as a Human Resources Administrator. I was working in a different department when the position in HR came up and they asked me if I'd like the job. I jumped at the chance - I have always wanted to work in HR and I can honestly say it's the first job I've had where I don't dread going in, and most days I really enjoy it.

5. We've seen you sporting a variety of different hair colours on your blog. Will you be sticking with the glossy brunette colour you have at the moment?
Yes for the moment - it's my natural hair colour after all! But I loved being blonde and had blonde locks for six years so it's still very strange and I'm still getting used to it. It's nice not having to worry about paying for expensive highlights every month (more money for clothes!)

6. Which haircare brand is your favourite?
Ooooh a tough one. I do really rate L'Oreal Professional products. They're a bit pricey but they work a treat. Cheaper brands I like are Lee Stafford and Herbal Essences.

7. As an ambassador for Eyeko you have lots of their nail polishes...which shade do you wear the most?
I wear Posh Polish the most because it's suitable for work and has amazing lasting power! But I also love Vintage Polish, Punk Polish, pretty much all of them. I adore Eyeko polishes, I really do.

8. What product have you tried lately that you now could not live without?
I'm going to cheat because it's not a product that I've tried lately, but the one and only product I could never live without is Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. It is the best foundation for covering blemishes and uneven skin tone and it has amazing lasting power. Plus a bottle lasts for months and months.

9. Would you rather go out with no make up but styled hair, or messy hair with make up done?
Messy hair with make up done. I dont' wear tons of make up but I do feel quite self-conscious without foundation and a bit of mascara. Plus messy hair is kind of "in" so I think I'd just about get away with it :)

10. Which high street stores do you shop in most regularly?
Probably Primark and River Island. Primark because it's so damn cheap and you can't go wrong - especially when it comes to their basics and pumps. I live in pumps! But I also really like River Island and buy quite a few things from there. I love their slouchy tees and maxi dresses!

11. Which fashion trends for AW 2010 are you most looking forward to wearing?
I have to be honest, I don't know what the trends are! I don't follow fashion, I buy what I like and what suits me and wear it till it falls apart! I live in my Uggs even though they're not fashionable. I don't have the time or money to keep up with the latest styles! Although I really envy people who do. I wish I could be more stylish!

12. Are you subscribed to any magazines? Which do you like to read?
I'm not subscribed to any but I regularly buy Look and Company. I love Look's fashion pages and I love Company for the real-life stories and mixed content.

13. Which blogs do you enjoy reading?
I have so many that I love. Firm favourites are Frassy,...love Maegan, rockstar diaries and Little Blog of Horrors. As you can see, I like a mixture of beauty blogs, fashion blogs and random/mixture blogs just like mine!

14. What can we look forward to on Lily loves Lola?
More of the same! More cute pictures of Lily and Lola, lots more reviews, outfits, updates on my life and living on my own for the first time, shopping and my weekly Monday Summaries!

15. Do you have any tips on how to make a successful blog?
Yes - write about what interests you. Update regularly. Keep the content clear, easy to read, and free from spelling mistakes! Reply to emails/comments. Be friendly and approachable. And most importantly, enjoy it!

(Lol I'm giggling to myself because ironically I just spelt "mistakes" wrong!)

And so that rounds up this week's In the Spotlight. Check out Lily loves Lola if you want to read an established blog written by a girlie who knows what she's doing. And for the pugs of course!

T x

Primark image taken from Ealing Broadway Shopping


Book Review: Obstacles to Young Love

Image taken from davidnobbs.com

Apologies for the delay here (assuming you care about a book review, that is) I actually finished this book a while ago and am on to my next, it's just taken me a while to get around to reviewing this!

Obstacles to Young Love is the story of two teenage lovers and spans across 25 years in their tale of love and the journeys upon which life takes them.  I'm a fan of books which follow the characters through the paths of many decades, so this book appealed to me when I picked it up in the library.  The main characters are Naomi, an actress, and Timothy, a taxidermist.  Timothy is a devout Christian, whilst Naomi has an irrepressible urge to convert people away from God.

This is a humourous book, and I love the feeling that I've watched a character grow over the years.  This book picks up when Naomi and Timothy are 18 and ends with a 25th year reunion for their school, so I definitely got the sense of growth here.  It's lighthearted and easy to read, and what's interesting is that it's a romantic book written by a male author.  Not to say that blokes don't know romance, but in general I prefer my chick lit to be written, well, by a chick.

With comparisons to P.G Wodehouse (no, I'm not sure who he is either...), the author, David Nobbs, has written 17 novels as well as numerous television series.  The book is well written and the characters are very real.  I wouldn't say this is a great book, but it was comfortable and worth the read.

What books are you all reading at the moment?



In the Spotlight: Sofia's Journal

My featured blogger this week is creator of one of my favourite blogs in my reading list.  I haven't subscribed to her for OOTD posts (she doesn't do those) nor do I look for EOTD posts (she doesn't do those either) or even beauty hauls.  This blog is in a league of its own in my subscriptions, and I love it for it's individuality.  If you're looking for a user-friendly, unique and easy-on-the-eye blog then look no further.  With its clean white background alongside subtle injections of colour, this blog really is aesthetically soothing.  Not to mention the blogger herself is intelligent, a great writer, a dab hand at interiors, polite and, well, really incredibly genuinely nice.  Upon spotting that striking picture of the gorgeous girl with the green headband hiding behind her camera I was hooked.  And if I hadn't revealed who it was in the title of this post, I'm sure you would have been well on your way to guessing that this week's In the Spotlight (a day later than usual) is...

1.  Let's start off relatively easily.  Sum yourself up in five words...
Loyal, determined, quirky, stylish, compassionate.

2.  In amongst the list of fashion and beauty blogs I’m subscribed to, yours is a fairly unique blend of beauty, interior design, life and tutorials. For those who are unfamiliar with it, can you give us an overview of Sofia’s Journal?
Sofia’s Journal is basically my personal Journal where I talk about anything and everything that influences and shapes my daily life – a great breakfast I ate, a photograph I took of a memorable place, a beauty product I can’t live without.

3.  Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
I liked reading blogs. A lot. The more I read the more I realised that I’d love a creative outlet of my own and a way to connect with likeminded people. At first, I really just wanted to test out my HTML skills and see if I could put together a site that looked good. Later, I recognised that I actually love writing. By committing to blogging I’m hoping that my writing will improve over time.

4. With so many regular posts on your blog (Sunday Click List, 100 Things, Things I *heart* Thursday…) what are your favourite posts to do?
I really enjoy putting The Sunday Click List together every week because the web is an amazing wealth of information and I love to share the cool stuff I’ve found.

5. What do you do for a living? Is it what you hope to be doing for the future or do you have other career plans?
Without going into too much detail online - I work for a Manchester based model agency. It’s an interesting and varied role but I don’t envisage it in my long term future. I feel most alive when I write but I don’t know how viable it would be to make a career from that. I’m still at an age where I have all the time in the world to explore different opportunities until I find exactly what makes my heart sing.

6. You come across as a generally positive person who always finds the good in things. How do you stay so cheerful all the time?!
I’m naturally a glass-half-empty kind of girl who has had some pretty traumatic life experiences so being cheerful (and ultimately ‘happy’) is something I have to work at day in day out. I think happiness is a choice not something that falls at our laps or just happens upon those ‘lucky’ people as if by magic. When negative thoughts creep into my mind (and they do, often) I drown them out by considering all the good things in life to be grateful for. I’ve always found that positive things happen to positive people so I reckon it’s worth the effort.

7.  What's the last book you read?
Affirmations by Stuart Wilde – an incredibly enlightening book if you’re into spirituality. Before that, the entire Twilight Saga (for the second time)!

8.  What's your beauty must-have for the moment?Well, I’ve shared quite a few beauty raves on my blog of late so it’s difficult to pick one! Max Factor False Lash Mascara is certainly something I’ll be rushing out to buy again. It’s great to have found an inexpensive mascara that works for me.

9. Besides refurnishing bedside cabinets and making gorgeous notice boards, what do you like to do in your spare time?
More than anything, I love to spend time hanging out with friends. We usually eat out, grab coffee or hit up the cinema.

10. Do you have a style icon?
I don’t hold any particular person upon a pedestal in terms of their style and I never try to emulate someone else’s look. I think you should always dress for your body shape and express your own individual personality through your clothing. Obviously I take inspiration from others but that comes from many sources; the girl on the street as much as specific celebrities. I do love a quirky girl who looks like she hasn’t tried too hard - Rachel Bilson definitely comes to mind. I also admire the laid back LA vibe of Audrina Partridge.

11. Which blogs do you like to read?
I subscribe to literally hundreds and I love them all for different reasons. Check out my ‘Link Love’ page on my blog for a list of my current faves.

12. How do you come up with fresh new ideas for your blog?
Before I began my blog I had a vision of the kind of topics I wanted to write about (beauty, interiors, fashion, life) and luckily, because I’m so passionate about all these things it’s been easy. I now have a list as long as my arm of things I want to chat about on Sofia’s Journal.

13. What can we look forward to on Sofia's Journal?
Oh, I have lots planned! I’m currently flat hunting so I’d like to feature some kind of home tour and share how I kit out each room on a budget.

14. Any tips for upcoming bloggers?
As a fairly new blogger myself I’m not sure I’m equipped to answer this, but my advice will always be that you have to write about something you are truly passionate about. A nice, clean site design with great photos is a must, as is a regular posting schedule. You don’t have to blog every day (some of the best blogs publish only once or twice a week) but be consistent. And finally, always remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day - it takes time to build a blog, so stick with it.

Sofia seems to me to be a rare breed.  When I read her blog which she herself describes as the "whimsical ramblings of a 25 year old English girl" she really does seem to me to be delightfully English.  Difficult to describe, but when reading posts I hear a Bridget Jones-esque voice in my head.  In a world where we are so easily connected by the wonder of the internet, there's something incredibly refreshing about coming home to a blog as familiar and comforting as a cup of good old English tea.  I don't think my summary is doing Sofia justice, and I don't think anyone's ever could.  Click out and have a look now.  I bet you'll become one of Sofia's biggest fans as well.

T x


Product Review: No7 For Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Stick

Though strictly not a beauty product review, I thought I'd include this one in case you were looking to buy a little treat for your other half/dad/uncle/any male in your life you might be buying for!

I generously donated my £5 No.7 coupon to Mr. B and picked up this Anti-Fatigue Eye Stick the other day.  He's not really one for cosmetics, but has been dying to give a review on this, so here goes....

"Cooling and refreshing.  Works within 10 seconds. Can't even tell it's on"

Yes.  That's all I got from him.  So it's been left to me to fluff this review up a little bit.

Although it's marketed on Boots' website in their Anti-Aging section, I was drawn to this product's promise to "act as an eye wake up call".  Admittedly it does have a bit of spiel about fine lines and wrinkles, but I bought this product solely on the idea of for once successfully being able to drag Mr. B out of bed and into town on a Saturday without the usual 20 minute wait "for my eyes to stop hurting."

So far however, this product has not managed to do this.  I'm beginning to think this eye-hurting thing is actually a ploy to have a lie in, hmmm..... However, when he wakes up at 5:30am for work every day it's the product Mr. B swears by.  It's quite similar in look to 4head if you've tried it, the menthol product to stop tension headaches?  I'd advise not getting these two mixed up though, I imagine 4head could sting quite a bit if applied under the eyes!

With regards to the anti-aging properties I can't really comment on this, because as I said it's not what I bought this for and Mr. B doesn't yet have any fine lines or wrinkles around his eyes.  I have however just asked him whether he thinks his dark circles are better in appearance (I'm not sure he ever had any to begin with) and the answer I got was "guess so".

If, like me, you've bought pretty much everything No.7 has to offer with your voucher then why not give this a go?  It gave me some extra brownie points, and for a man who never gets enthusiastic about products this one has certainly given Mr. B something to rave about!  £2.50 + the possibility of hitting the shops earlier is definitely an offer too good to miss!

Did anyone else treat the man in their life with this offer?  He's now becoming a little bit too interested in skincare and wants to buy more....any recommendations?

T x

Image taken from Boots


In the Spotlight: a sense sublime

It was fairly early on in my blogging days when I came across a sense sublime.  And yes, I've not used capital letters on purpose...it's how she spells it y'know.  There's something inherently cool behind the minimalist look of this blog.  You get the sense that this is a blogger who just 'gets' fashion and when you see a piccie of the owner with her new, back-to-her-roots blond hair you realise that she does.  I use the word "indie" tentatively and I don't know whether she'd appreciate that description, but then I balance that with the fact that "indie" is the word I use when someone is so comfortable in their style and can pull off 'cool' looks in a way that I never could.   Perhaps it's her roots in art, because every outfit is always well-thought out and beautifully put together.
See what I mean?  I'd definitely say this girl has a unique look with her Marianne Faithfull-esque style and this is balanced out with what a friendly blogger she is.  Her blog is one to subscribe to, whether to keep up with the best new clothes at Topshop, have a look at the latest funky jewellery she's lusting after or to see what's going up in her sublime world (see what I did there?) with her own version of the Guardian's 'The Measure'.

So now ladies, it's my pleasure to introduce those of you who aren't familiar with her, to Christina Sanders of a sense sublime.

1.  Let's start off relatively easy - sum yourself up in 5 words...
Artist, writer, fashion-obsessed girl!

2.  What do you do for a living?  Is it what you always imagined you'd be doing?
I currently work as the manager of a boutique shop for babies and toddlers.  It is a cute little shop and I love my job.  It's not fashion or art related, but for a first job after university is a great experience.  I am thinking about maybe going into teaching in the future or doing more with my writing - I am doing a journalism evening course at the moment.  Of course the overall dream is to work as an artist!

3.  What (or who) inspired you to start blogging?
I was inspired by blogs such as Style Bubble - I thought it was great to see normal girls who were experimenting so much with clothes and trends.  It offered something different and more real than fashion magazines.
I also do some writing about art and fashion for a few websites, so having a blog seemed like a good way of staying in touch with what was going on and practising/developing my writing style.  When the blog started I covered both art and fashion, though now it is mostly just fashion.  It has become such a big part of my life - I have friends who I just know from blogging and watching the blog grow has been so much fun.  I am still surprised that people read it and every comment I get makes me unbelievably happy!

4.  A tricky one, but if you had to choose would it be art or fashion?
That's so hard!  But if I had to choose it would be art.  Art is my true love - fashion is more of a hobby.  Though I see them as intertwined, both art and fashion are about creating something interesting and/or beautiful.

5.  What's your favourite shop?
Probably Topshop.  It's predictable I know, but their clothes are just so fashion-forward and exciting!  I also get a lot of things from ASOS and recently I have been loving everything from Whistles.  I love going to vintage and jumble sales - as I always seem to find some good things whilst rummaging.  I find jumble sales are normally more fun than proper vintage stores as you can still find real bargains!

6.  Who is your favourite designer?
At the moment Alexander Wang.  In my blog I seem to mention him all the time!  I am also in love with Bora Asku's dresses - they are a great mix of girly and rock 'n' roll.  I have seen a few of his London Fashion Week shows in the past and have always been blown away.  In terms of the more classic designers - Chanel and Burberry never seem to put a foot wrong.

7.  Who is your fashion icon?
My ultimate fashion icon would be a mix of Marianne Faithfull, Stevie Nicks and the Olsen Twins.

8.  What's your favourite item of clothing that you've bought recently?
Probably the 3.1 Phillip Lim cocktail dress I got from Susie of Style Bubble's yard sale.  Phillip Lim is one of my favourite designers and the dress only cost me £5!  It is beautiful - emerald silk, one shoulder with a thick lacy and bead trim.  I love it.  It is a little big but I am going to get it taken in so soon it will be perfect.  I am hoping to wear it to a friend's wedding in a few weeks.  It is the first piece of designer clothing I have ever owned to it is pretty special to me.

9.  Are there any fashion trends you wish you'd never become a part of?  Any fashion disasters in your closest?
I've worn some pretty awful things in the past but I don't regret any of it.  Fashion is about experimenting and some of those experiments are bound to go wrong, but along the way you discover your own personal style.  So embrace the mistakes!
Having said that, I do have some cheap fake Ugg boots hidden in the back of my wardrobe.  I had a foot infection earlier in the year and couldn't get any of my shoes on so had to buy them.  They are very comfortable but so ugly.  I am not a fan of the Uggs look.  Now I just wear them for taking the recycling out.

10.  What's your fashion pet hate?
I really dislike Primark.  I know that you can get some things that look good there - recently they seem to have upped their game and gone a lot more fashion-forward, but I hate the whole experience of shopping with them.  The clothes are so badly made, the sizes always come up wrong and the clothes get misshapen the first time you wash them.  I hate the lack of respect for the clothes, people just chuck them anywhere in the shop and on the floor - I guess it is because they are so cheap but I like shopping to feel a bit more special than that.

11.  As a girl with her finger on the fashion pulse, what are your style predictions for the near future?
Well Autumn is approaching now and I am really excited about it style-wise.  Autumn/Winter is always my favourite season for clothes.  I am really loving the neutral colours that are around at the moment and I think they will stay for a while - it is all about the camel and olive green at the moment!  I also think that maxi skirts will transcend being a Summer only thing - I think long skirts  can look great with oversized, chunky knitwear.

12.  Which are your favourite blogs to read?
I love LLYMLRS.  Lily who writes it seems like such a sweet girl and she has great style.  Unlike a lot of bloggers though she is not obsessed with designers, she is pretty much purely high street and I think she shows just how good the British High Street is, which is really interesting - she shows you don't have to spend thousands to be stylish.  She always looks amazing and has a real talent for putting an outfit together.
I recently discover Fabric of my Life, which I am now addicted to.  It is more about lifestyle and interiors than fashion, but it is so beautiful and inspiring.  Kate who writes it has such a good eye for lovely things.  I might be moving this year so I am a bit homeware-obsessed at the moment!

13.  What's the last book you read?
I don't read books nearly enough - it is shameful.  I haven't read a novel in months.  The last book I read was The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  I wanted to read it before I saw the film.  It was bleak and heartbreaking but wonderful.  I would definitely recommend it, but be prepared for how relentless it is.  I like books that are depressing though - so for me it was perfect!

14.  What can we look forward to coming up on a sense sublime?
I am trying to do more outfit posts.  All the fashion blogs that I really enjoy reading have loads of pictures of the writers' outfits.  Also from a blogging point of view I think fashion bloggers should show their own style - after all, that is what it's all about!  Having said that, I still feel really self-conscious about it all!

15.  Have you any tips for upcoming bloggers?
Just write about what you love and try and find your own voice.  Look to blogs you like for inspiration - but remember that people will come back to reading what you have to say if you're original.  And don't forget to have fun with it!

How many of you are already subscribers to a sense sublime?  If you're not, I urge you to scoot on over there and click the "follow" button.  Intelligent writing style coupled with great fashion style is a winning combination for me.

For those of you already following Christina, did you learn something new?  This blog's become a bit quiet lately - join in the conversation ladies!

T xx

Primark image taken from womenclothingforall.  'The Road' image taken from kapiticoastlibraries


Product Review: No. 7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser

I bought this for £3.75 with my Boots voucher the other day.  I collect the vouchers with the aim of stocking up on their make up wipes, but it would seem I've spent an obscene amount of money in Boots recently and once I noticed how big the pile of make up wipes in the bathroom cupboard was (6 at last count) I decided to branch into something new.

You may remember in my Southampton haul I picked up the Ruby & Millie eyelash curlers.  Big mistake.  "No pinch"?  I've never known anything like it!  Never has a pair of eyelash curlers been harder to use.  But I'm pleased to report that this is another voucher purchase, along with the wipes, that I am pleased with.

The idea behind this is simple.  Rub a small amount into your skin with your fingertips, then using the muslin cloth included, warm it under running hot water and apply it to your face to open pores.  The cloth is thin so it does cool quite quickly, but the helpful lady at the No 7 till suggested I do this a couple of times.  On the final go, you rub the cream off in circular motions and then to finish splash your face with cold water to close pores.

I'm not really one for washing my face.  Ha, just realised how awful that sounds, but I'm a girl who likes to use a make up wipe last thing at night then fall asleep.  I give my face a wake up call in the morning, but I'm not really one to spend ages applying products.  I really should; as the youngest of my friends I took great pleasure when they were turning 21 and I was still 20 in informing them that you have to start taking care of your skin at 21 otherwise you'll regret it later.  Have I listened to my own advice?  Not at all.  In the last two years I think the closest I've got to any sort of skincare is purchasing a toner.  Which is unopened in my wardrobe as we speak.

But I think this product may have converted me.  My skin feels baby-soft afterwards, I spent quite a while stroking it and marvelling at how smooth it was the first night I tried this.  It even encourages me to lovingly apply moisturise before I go to bed in an effort to lock in the softness.  Is my skin more radiant?  Can't say I've noticed anything yet....perhaps tomorrow I'll lock myself in the house and have a no make up day to see if I can spot any difference.  Or maybe I need to wait longer than two applications to see results?

The best part of this is how little you need to use.  This seems to be a recurring comment that I say about everything at the moment, but I've really been noticing that investing my money in higher-quality products is paying off with the amount that I have to use and how long it will therefore last.  One pump of this cleanser is enough.  And with a 200ml bottle, this stuff will definitely last.

But now to the big question....when it runs out will I repurchase? 
Yep...in fact, I'm sure this bottle will see me through to the next Boots £5 promotion so for £3.75 I will definitely be buying again!

Did any of you try something new with your voucher?  Has anyone tried this?

T x