Monday, 20 February 2017

How to find a perfectly figure flattering top plus 20 to buy right now

Finding a figure flattering top is no different than finding a figure flattering dress.  It has to be the right length, the right shape and the right fabric to cover the bits you want it to cover and reveal those you don’t.  Even harder, a seriously good top should work over jeans, smart pants and slim skirts.
Karen Millen Navy Boho BlouseCoast Sleeveless Knot Detail TopReiss V Neck TopFat Face ivory Embroidered Top - Other ColoursOasis Wild Floral Camisole
There are thousands of tops in prints and colours that would have difficulty flattering anyone, so I tend to play it safe with plains, geometric prints and modern florals.  Avoid those in old fashioned prints and oversized shapes - they're everywhere and they risk making you look frumpy.

Perfect for spring to summer are streamlined tops cut slightly into the shoulder, Boho blouses and simple shapes.  Always check when you're buying a new top that it works front, back and side.  Tops can be immensly flattering and the opposite as well.
Phase Eight Double Layer TopPhase Eight Ivory Sleeveless TopMint Velvet Silk and Lace Trim TopTory Burch Silk Blend Boho BlouseMichael Michael Kors Polka Dot Sleeveless TopKaren Millen Embroidered BlouseWarehouse Spot Print Tie Neck BlouseTed Baker Tie Neck Filled Sleeve BlouseSplendid Brushed Crepe de Chine BlouseFat Face embroidered sleeveless top - ivory also
Many of these have ruffles or tie necks – this seasons details which will flatter most.  Avoid at all costs, particularly if you’re quite big on top, gathers or pleats just above the bust line – having once a long time ago been asked when my baby was due – when I wasn’t expecting anything – I know that this is one that no matter how much you think will help cover your stomach, may end up doing so in totally the wrong way.
Mint Velvet Raffia Print BlouseMint Velvet Ink Ruffle Front BlouseDiane von Furstenberg Floral Lace TopBoden Wrap Top - Black other and Sleeveless as wellSandro Tie Detail Silk and Linen Top

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Beauty for Less – Pixi Beauty and Double Duty Concealers, Highlighters, Eye Pencils and Lip Gloss

Pixi Beauty Hello Glow Set - Pixi Beauty is one of those ranges of cosmetics that sits between the ‘sky’s the limit’ designer brands and the lower end of the market brands.  Added benefit is the pretty packaging but most importantly all the products, at least thPixi Beauty Tint and Gloss for Lipse ones that I’ve tried so far (don’t ask) are seriously good.

The brand was founded by makeup artist Petra Strand over 10 years ago with an aim to bring out a healthy, natural glow in your skin, which is why many of the products focus on prime, highlight and conceal.  And not only do they do the job extremely well, (and they’re less expensive than many of their competitors), but a number of the products do double duty or more making them even better value as well as more travel friendly.
Pixi Beauty Lid and Line
Pixi Beauty Crayon Combo

So your tube of Illuminating Tint and Conceal will have a highlighting tinted moisturiser in the  tube and a concealer in the cap, the little quad of Eye Bright Kit has 2 concealers, highlighter and eye brightener (and comes in three shades), the Lid and Line eye pencils come with eyeliner,  shadow and smudgers, and the chunky combo eye pencils are double ended with Pixi Illuminating tint and conceal duotwo  different shades.  

Not every Pixi Beauty product is double duty of course and there are new Pixi Endless Silky Eye Penproducts launching all the time.  They’re great for guilt-free beauty gifts and treats. You can find Pixi at, Look Fantastic and FeelUnique plus Marks & Spencer.  And Target in the US.

Just a word of warning – there’s serious temptation here.  Yes this is beauty for less – well a bit less anyway, than you’d pay for a ‘superbrand’ but once you start buying these products you may well find more in your shopping basket than you intended.  Over to you.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Michael Michael Kors Spring Handbag Collection Does it Again

If you’re in the market for a new Prada, Gucci or Balenciaga handbag then you’ll probably want to stop reading this right now.  Up in the stratosphere, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can pay. 

But if what you want is a bit of handbag therapy, a piece of new arm candy in the new season’s colour, a modern backpack or tote or ladylike structured bag, all at a price which won’t break the bank, then Michael Kors with the Michael Michael Kors collection has to be your man. 

Michael Michael Kors Jet Set Textured Leather ToteMichael Michael Kors Heritage Leather Embellished BagMichael Michael Kors mini textured leather shoulder bagMichael Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Tote

One of the cleverest fashion diffusion lines of all time which we’ve loved since its launch in 2004, Michael Michael Kors offers something new and modern for everywoman.  You may think you’ve seen it all, and look around you, if you’re surrounded by handbag carrying women you’ll probably be able to spot several of his designs without moving very far.  But if you don’t want to follow the pack with their instantly recognisable designer totes, or you can’t because it would mean just carrying one bag all the time and you like to be able to change your bag with your clothes, the season and not to mention your mood then have a good look.

Michael Michael Kors denim blue backpack - other coloursMichael Michael Kors Textured Leather Backpack - black alsoMichael Michael Kors Appliqued Leather shoulder bagMichael Michael Kors Small Leather Tote

Yes there are plenty of other mid priced brands to choose from, including DKNY, Coach, Whistles and Vivienne Westwood not to mention Ted Baker and Lauren Ralph Lauren and but time and time again I return to Michael Kors because he always has something lustworthy and of the moment or a classic in a new colour which I know will add a bit of interest to my daily neutrals. 

Michael Michael Kors Selma SatchelMichael Michael Kors Chain Handled Tote - Other ColoursMichael Michael Kors small embellished cross body bagMichael Michael Kors Raven Shoulder Tote

Michael Michael Kors bags such as the Mercer shoulder bag, Jet Set Travel Tote and Chain Handled Tote have quickly become classics, available in a wide range of colours with new shades released each season.  This season shades of grey, blues through to denim, and bags embellished with flowers and studs are some of my favourites.  Inevitably the neutrals and best loved totes will be the winners, but if you already have these dip into one of his new embellished bags which are about to be seen on all the best arms everywhere…….

Michael Michael Kors Metallic quilted leather bag - other coloursMichael Michael Kors Flower Leather PouchMichael Michael Kors Leather and Suede Cross Body BagMichael Michael Kors Cherry Leather Mercer Satchel - other colours

The best selections of Michael Michael Kors bags are to be found at Selfridges and Net-a-Porter, where you’re likely to find the very latest bags.  Also look at House of Fraser and John Lewis and look at the start of the season – the newest, the most on trend are bound to disappear fast.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

20 Pairs of New Season's Sneakers - Wild, Wonderful and not for the Gym

If you thought that sparkly and embellished sneakers were just a passing moment think again.  They’re here to stay and now we’ve discovered that we can be comfortable, walk for miles and be right on trend at the same time we’re never going to look back.
Sophia Webster Riko SneakersDune Leopard Laceup TrainersNike Air Max Nike Leather and Felt SneakersSteve Madden Metallic Flatform TrainersAsh Dazed TrainersAcne Studios Calf Hair SneakersOffice Pom Pom TrainersMichael Michael Kors Caged Mesh Trainers
Wearing heels used to be seen as a symbol of femininity, and we persevered on no matter how much damage they potentially did to our feet.  And yes, they do look great.  But last year, for the first time ever, a Mintel report on our trainers vs heels buying habits told us that women were investing more of their cash into trainers than heels.  The year before it was level pegging, but last year a report showed that 37% bought trainers and 33% bought heels.

It was inevitable then that once more of us started skipping around the streets in our ‘trainers’ we would prefer it, with 59% preferring to wear trainers vs 12% wearing heels.
Ash Beads TrainersMichael Kors Leo Slip on SneakersPrada Patent Leather SneakersKurt Geiger Lamont SneakersGolden Goose Midstar TrainersKurt Geiger Lippie TrainersTods Metallic Trimmed Nubuck SneakersChiara Ferragni heart detail trainers
This does not, of course, mean that you’re likely to wear your fashion sneakers out to dinner, although you might, because trainers, though chic, can really spoil a perfect little black dress, but you’ll find me for one in them most of the rest of the time slipping into my heels for the briefest of moments.
Geox Wedge TrainersDries van Noten Brocade High Top TrainersConverse Leopard Print TrainersKurt Geiger Silver Satin Low Top Trainers
So if you haven’t already embraced the ‘athleisure’ trend this is a great time to do so.  Sneakers (because these really aren’t trainers) have become wacky, wild, embellished, sequined, embroidered, printed, metallic, shiny and sparkly.  And if you don’t already have a pair – or two – buy some now.  Everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Dune, Office and KG have several in their collections for the new seasons – there’s never been a better time to walk in comfort.  Just don’t try wearing any of these to the gym.