30 June 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: There's no place like home

Here is China Glaze Ruby Pumps:

It is almost impossible to do justice to this colour in a photo, it's a much deeper red than that, but look at all that glitter. Every time I look at it I think of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. To complete the look I need these shoes:

Those are the Sequin Court, £20.00 from New Look.

There's no place like New Look, there's no place like New Look.

29 June 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: Owl Love tote

For all my obsessing over pretty things, the one item I've never really gotten into is bags. I carry such a lot of stuff around with me that having multiple handbags would just be a pain - all that swapping over of stuff every time I wanted to change my handbag ... I get tired just thinking about it.

However, I might just be tempted by this:

Just look at those lovey-dovey little owls. Don't they make you smile? It's the Owl Love tote, US$24.00 from Cherry Red Boutique.

Anti-smoking measures

I'm in the process of giving up smoking. It sucks. I mean it's great that I'm doing it, but it makes me very very very grumpy. Kids, don't start smoking, because one day you'll want to give up and it will suck.

The plus side of this though is that the Eccentric English Boyfriend is being very tolerant of my need to distract myself by spending money on pretties. It works, hours browsing in the mall are hours when I'm not thinking about smoking. And of course we know what happens when I go shopping - I buy nail polish. And shoes, but that was the aliens.

Here's the haul, some from the mall and some ordered online.

We have: China Glaze He's Going in Circles (I got this on my toes when I got a pedicure recently and it is a stunner), Black Opal (no colour name or even number on the bottle), China Glaze Ruby Pumps, China Glaze Solar Power, China Glaze Tree Hugger (note to TradeMe sellers, I get really annoyed when you don't state the bottle size on your listing and then it arrives and I find I've paid for minis - grrrrr), BYS Envy Me and two colours by Winniax or Winwax or something - the brand name is hard to read and the rest of the writing on the bottle is Asian - both bought from the $3 Japan store.

I have Ruby Pumps on at the moment and it is truly stunning. Jam packed with glitter and impossible to capture in a photograph at night time, so if I remember I'll try again tomorrow.

28 June 2009

How does this keep happening?

It happened again my pretties. There I was, innocently wandering through Sylvia Park Mall, minding my own business and studiously avoiding buying anything like the frugal wee pretty I am, and next thing I know I'm in a shoe store signing a credit card receipt. Seriously, how does this keep happening to me?

I have a theory. I am the innocent victim of alien abduction. The little grey men are abducting me and forcing me to buy shoes in order to further their plans for world domination. No I DON'T know how me buying shoes aids their world domination, it is not up to me to question our alien overlords.

Anyway lucky for me the alien overlords have exquisite taste and an eye for a bargain because here's what I ended up with:

Adorable yes? I love the 70's vibe AND they were only NZ$49.00 reduced from something like NZ$160.00 (my recollection is a little hazy, alien memory erasing technology at work obviously).

The shop was called Lovcat Paris - I'd never heard of them but they have a website, which won't load properly for me.

Now I just need summer to roll around so I can wear them!

Your daily dose of pretty: in which I admit I'm addicted to Etsy

Damn you Etsy. Do you not know I have, like, stuff to do? You know, important stuff like ... doing that thing and ... something...


shixie's adorable range of earrings are made from recycled tins. These ones are from a recycled Chinese lithographed tea tin and are US$26.00.

Now I'm going to turn the computer off and go ... ummmm ...


27 June 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: Nine Body Coverage dress

When the Eccentric English Boyfriend and I were in Queenstown earlier this year, we stumbled upon clothing store Nine Body Coverage whilst wandering down a side street. My eye was caught by the bright prints and feminine shapes of the clothes in the window so of course I HAD to go in (d'uh!). Lucky for me they were in the midst of a sale, and I came out with a gorgeous and flattering skirt.

Today's pretty is from Nine's Winter 2009 collection, which has just been released.

I love the feminine shapes and the eyecatching prints of all their clothes. This gorgeous dress is going to give those curves some va-va-voom (and who doesn't like a bit of that every now and then?).

All of Nine's clothes are designed and made in Queenstown. If you're in Queenstown pop into the shop and have a look for yourself, their clothes are also available by mail order from the website.

26 June 2009

Check out my ears

Remember those piggy earrings from yesterday? Well they arrived today (yay Susane - awesome service). And they are so cute, look!

Hehehe, little piggy eyes!

Oh Wow!

Look at today's Steal of a Deal on Couture Allure:

Wow. And ... wow!

Not many people could carry this off, it's dramatic to the power of ten. I'm going to have to stop looking at it, because my cursor is hovering dangerously near the Add To Cart button ... I can just imagine myself wearing this, riding side saddle on a noble steed through the forest with a rakishly handsome man riding beside me. Sigh. (Yes I know, wrong era, but it's what my imagination comes up with!)

If you can't resist, it's the Vintage 50s Black Velveteen & Faille Full Skirt Swing Dress and it's reduced to US$72.50 today.

25 June 2009

Review: O.P.I. Done Out in Deco

This isn't one of the polishes from my haul(s) of the other day, it's one I bought off TradeMe which arrived yesterday. I've been coveting this colour for a while - lavender done badly can be very much a 'grandmother' colour, but Done Out in Deco has greyish undertones that make it a little different.

I absolutely love it, BUT, I'm not sure it suits my skin tone. Still, one of the many friends who come over for manicures will surely suit it, so it's not going to waste!

Application was excellent, which surprised me. Pastel colours as a rule can be problem children, but not this one. No streaking or dragging, bottle colour in two coats and no clean up required - well done O.P.I.

If you look through my recent polish reviews, you can see my nails gradually (very gradually) starting to get longer. I am determined to get them healthy and grow them long without resorting to acrylics again, which damaged my nails so badly.

Your daily dose of pretty: which you can't have because I just bought them

I found these adorable little piggy earrings from Susane01 on Etsy:

and was just about to post about them when I realised there was only one pair left. So I bought them. Which is why the picture is so tiny, because of course once I'd bought them they were removed from the listing. Ooops! Sorry about that.

As a consolation prize, here are some kitty earrings:

And a gorgeous glass pendant necklace:

So you can't say I'm not good to you!

Review: BB Couture Blue Suede Shoes

This is the second nail polish from BB Couture that I've tried and I continue to be very impressed. Their formula is fabulous, easy to apply, great coverage in two coats maximum, and they have such a great colour range I'm seriously tempted to get on to Overall Beauty and order some more. Except I've just ordered a haul from Transdesign, and after last night's post about the NARS Vintage colours I ordered a couple (Blue Lagoon and Cha Cha Cha in case you were wondering).

The Eccentric English Boyfriend asked me last night how long it would take me to collect every nail polish colour in existence. I asked him if that was a challenge, because I'd be more than happy to give it a try, and he suddenly backtracked. Go figure. But I think in the interests of proving to him that it's not possible, I should probably go ahead and order some more polishes - makes sense doesn't it?

Anyway on with the review. Here is Blue Suede Shoes:

This is a gorgeous, gorgeous colour. When I applied it last night there were some lavender tones coming through, today in daylight it's a gorgeous dusky blue. Almost bottle colour in one coat, I am absolutely in love!

So is Jessie:

Fred may not be so sure, it's hard to tell under that fringe:

And that's AFTER yesterday's trip to the groomer's, before that he looked like a little sheep!

24 June 2009

Gorgeous vintage polishes from NARS, and free shipping for you lucky UK people

NARS have released five long-lost nail polishes as a limited edition, and they sure are pretty:

The colours are: Blue Lagoon (iridescent powder blue), Hunger (hot orange red), Zizi (clear with peach and gold glitter), Cha Cha Cha (semi-sheer tangerine with gold reflections), Tallulah (rich grape).

Plus from now until the end of Thursday 25th June, NARS UK are offering free shipping on orders of £25 or more on their UK site, but they only ship within the UK so I may just have to rope in the English-based relatives for this one! I'm particularly coveting Blue Lagoon, Cha Cha Cha and Tallulah - what about you?

Your daily dose of pretty: Vintage 50s Black Sequin & Crepe Cocktail Dress from Couture Allure

If you're a lover of vintage clothing then Couture Allure is well worth checking out. The range of vintage from many eras is huge, with the option to search by era or size. Plus, if you follow the Couture Allure blog you'll be able to keep up with the daily 'Steal of a Deal' - one item from the shop heavily discounted.

And today's Pretty is also Couture Allure's Steal of a Deal:

That's the 50s Black Sequin & Crepe Cocktail Dress by Carol Craig. Sequins are a love/hate thing with me, but I really like the way they've been applied to the bodice of this dress. Here's a close-up:

Originally US$75.00, today it's discounted by 50% to US$37.50, and if it was my size I'd be snapping it.

23 June 2009

Review: Colour Club Pure Energy

Here's another polish from yesterday's haul. I have one word for you:


Pure Energy is a good name for this polish. You know the little blue light on your monitor or computer? The one that means it's switched on? That's what this colour reminds me of.

Application? Not so good actually. The formula on this is incredibly thin, and not in a good way. It took four coats to get a good finish and bottle colour. There was a lot of dragging and bald spots. But on the plus side hardly any visible brush strokes, and it dried super quick.

I wouldn't call this an everyday polish, but it's certainly something special, and I love it!

Your daily dose of pretty: Julep Retro Swing Halter Dress

When I think of brown, 'pretty' isn't the first word that comes to mind. But dang if this dress doesn't confound me by being pretty AND brown.

Obviously the ivory polka dots help break up the brown, and I'm loving the swing skirt and bow at the waist. US$49.00 from Red Dress Shoppe.

22 June 2009

Your daily dose of pretty: a little bit of bling (may contain mascara)

This probably belongs under the category of "Completely pointless but pretty".

I've never really seen the point of individual holders for makeup - those little cases for your lipstick for example. I mean by the time you've rifled through your handbag, found your makeup case, opened that, rifled through it, found the lipstick case - well who wants one more thing to open? But, this is pretty. In a blingy 'put the Bedazzler down and back away slowly before you do something you'll regret' kind of way. It hovers just on the edge of tastefulness and I like it. Oh and it actually comes with the mascara, which is a brand I've never heard of. And, because apparently everything needs to be able to be hung from stuff these days it has a keychain. There's going to come a day when nobody actually carries stuff INSIDE their handbags because it's all going to be hung on the outside.

US$48.00 from YesStyle.

Review: BB Couture Tangerine Scream

Wow! Just ... wow!

When I first became obsessed with nail polishes a couple of years ago there were two colours I never imagined I'd wear on my nails - green and orange. Since Peppermint Patti piqued my interest my collection of greens has grown quite large and covers all ends of the green spectrum, and today's BB Couture haul from Overall Beauty contained my first ever orange - Tangerine Scream.

Well hawt diggity that is one gorgeous colour. I love how it looks against my skin tone. And it makes me crave mandarins. See?

And the important stuff? Well all the good reviews of BB Couture polishes were right if this one is anything to go by. Nice formula, thin but still nearly bottle colour in one coat and really nice to apply. I did three coats but only because my application was a bit off - I was trying to watch Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture at the same time. The brush is a little on the thin side, but it's not really a big deal. And no clean up, which is a miracle for me!

So BB Couture gets a big thumbs up from me. And I think I'll be looking for some more oranges to add to my collection too.

And now to eat that mandarin - it's not just a prop you know!

I am keeping the courier drivers of Auckland in business - another haul

I finished the last post, looked out the window and there was another package, this time from 8ty8Beauty. Today is like Christmas AND my birthday!

Wall-E would like to present:

Colour Club Where's the Soiree?, Orly GoGo, China Glaze For Audrey (yes I finally found somewhere that has it in stock), Colour Club Pure Energy, Orly Charged Up and O.P.I. Miami Beet (which 13 Year Old Daughter has been coveting).

At this point, faced with nine new nail polishes to try, I have to keep reminding myself that the logic behind me staying home full-time was to make a start on the renovations and generally keep the house in order, NOT to spend all day trying on nail polish.

Here is a side-by-side of Essie Greenport and China Glaze For Audrey. Certainly in the bottle they are very similar, Greenport seems slightly darker, with a more greyish cast. Wall-E says swatching is in order!

BB Couture haul

I love getting packages, it's like Christmas all year round (even if I do know what's in them, since I placed the order and all!). Anyway here's today's arrival:

Off the subject a little, don't our new computer speakers totally look like Wall-E? He's just sitting there staring at me all wide-eyed and cute!

Anyhoo - back to nail polish. I've been reading a lot of good stuff about BB Couture nail polishes lately, so I gave in to temptation and ordered myself some from Overall Beauty. First up, props to Overall Beauty (and the lovely Kim) for the most personal and personable service from an e-tailer ever. And look, they even popped in a little manicure set as a gift - foot shaped toe separators are awesome!

The nail polishes are: Tangerine Scream (much more orange in real life, the photo gives it a red cast), Blue Suede Shoes, and Peony Pink. My dilemma now is which to try first ... If my nails behave I'll swatch them for you, they're very stubbular at the moment and the cold is giving my fingers a most unpleasant hue!

21 June 2009

Just don't eat it

The problem with beautifully made novelty soaps is that I often can't bring myself to despoil them by actually using them. And that is most definitely the case with these soaps:

Those are the Fruity Lifesaver Soaps, US$4.00 for eight mini soaps from LoveLeeSoap. They are far too good to use and almost good enough to eat. LoveLeeSoap also do soaps shaped like icecreams, french fries, cakes and hot wings (yes, hot wings) along with many other novelty soaps. A lovely gift for someone, or a treat for yourself to prettify your bathroom.

Your daily dose of pretty: they were half price, I HAD to get them

Wandering through the mall today, I accidentally found myself in Hannahs. (I KNOW! I was as astounded as you are. It's the funniest thing, happens to me all the time). Anyway, these were on sale, down from $99.95 to $49.95.

I've been coveting these little cuties (the Pulp Hide-n-Seek) for a while - they're the love child of a brogue and a mary jane, and that little bow ups the cuteness factor by ten. So obviously I wasn't going to say no to them at half price now was I? They're also available in solid black, which is nice but doesn't have the pizzazz of the black and cream combo.

13 Year Old Daughter managed to talk me into buying these for her while we were there:

That's the Stompa Racey, only $19.95 in the sale. I love how they can be worn with the top folded down to expose the lining. She's my little Padawan, 13 Year Old Daughter, and I have taught her so well!

20 June 2009

Sometimes I crave chocolate, sometimes I crave red patent pumps

In the same way that watching cooking shows makes me crave certain foods, watching a Running in Heels marathon on TV earlier today gave me a craving for red patent pumps. So while I was killing time with my hair swathed in glad wrap waiting for my colour to develop (yep that's right folks, Violet Vision is NOT my natural hair colour) I decided to do a little browsing to see what I could come up with.

I had a very specific style in mind: red patent, closed toe pumps with a high heel and no straps. The type of shoe I'm thinking of is your classic sex-on-legs shoe, in a style that will never date, but will always make you feel like you are the sexiest woman on the planet. And here's what I came up with, from the marvellously cheap to the palpitation-inducing expensive.

The Red Patent Round Toe Stiletto Pumps, US$8.99 from Ami Clubwear.

The Mia Diva, US$56.40 (on sale) from Zappos.com.

The N.Y.L.A. Mark Pump, US$60.36 from Endless.

The Rupert Sanderson Patent Pump, US$583.19 from Browns Fashion

The Christian Louboutin Platform Pump, US$735.00 from Neiman Marcus. (Look at the pretty, look closely at the pretty, don't look at the price, you want to look at the pretty.)

Unfortunately the Ami Clubwear shoes are out of stock, because they're an absolute steal. And the Louboutins, well they are beautiful aren't they? So very, very, very beautiful. Tis not to be though - the price looks high enough in American dollars, when I convert it to New Zealand dollars my heart very nearly stops!


Your daily dose of pretty: Shy Shy Floral Chiffon Trim Halter Top

Look at this little cutie:

Take a basic little halter top, add cute detailing by edging the neckline with printed chiffon and using the same chiffon for the bow at the back of the neck, and you have pretty.

Here's a close-up of the neckline detailing which also shows the colours available:

It's the Shy Shy Floral Chiffon Trim Halter Top, US$18.00 from my new favourite website YesStyle .

19 June 2009

Whiling away the hours on Etsy

Etsy is one of those sites that can swallow hours of my life. I go there to look at one item, get distracted by another, and then another, and before I know it most of the day has passed. One of the great things about Etsy is the variety of ways in which you can search for items. Aside from the standard searches by category, seller or featured seller there are also options like 'Pounce' (find items available for purchase from shops that have just sold an item, and from undiscovered shops waiting for their first sale), Geolocator (Etsy sellers placed on a map of the world), Connections (find items by seeing who likes what and what they like) and my personal favourite 'Shop by Colour'.

Hovering your mouse over the grid of coloured dots brings up circles of colour, and clicking on one of those circles will show you items in that colour. And just to add to the fun, items you are not interested can be tossed away.

Obviously I decided to search for purple items, and here's what I came up with:

The Bubble Pendant, US$26.00 from manmadedesigns

The Love and Passion Triptych Earrings, US$65.00 from Foret

15g Toho Seed Beads in Aqua/Bubblegum, US$2.29 from Luigisbeads

The Two Tone Japanese Eggplants, US$15.00 from GoBuggy

The Skull Hairclips, US$2.75 from bittersweetboo

I'm sure there are more constructive ways I could be spending my time, but they're not half as much fun!

Nail polish colour that can be turned on and off? We have the technology

One of the things I love about nail polish is the seemingly endless variety available, not just in colour but in finish. Your've got your cremes, mattes, jellies, frosts, glitters, holos, metallics and duochromes, and now scientists at the University of California say that the future of nail polish could be polishes that can instantly and reversibly change colour. The polishes would be manufactured with microscopic polymer beads containing iron oxide particles which would change colour with the application of external magnetic fields. The magnetic field makes the particles line up in ordered arrangements and changing the field will change the order of the particles leading to different diffraction colours.

Sounds exciting no? Although the overly imaginative part of me imagines what it would be like to walk down the street with nails that are attracted to every vaguely magnetic object! Not how the science works I know, but thinking about it makes me giggle!

For more on the science behind this click here.

Your daily dose of pretty: Unique Vintage mini swing dress

Oh my, how adorable is this:

This is the Black Flirty Cotton Mini Swing Dress from Unique Vintage. Look at the detailing: the bow at the back of the neck, the pleating on the bodice, the gorgeous pleated skirt. How cute and girly would you feel wearing this?

Here's a close-up of the bodice for you:

That truly is beautiful.

US$68.00 from Unique Vintage, who have a huge range of gorgeously covetable retro inspired clothes.

18 June 2009

H&M to collaborate with Jimmy Choo and I'm going to England next year

I may have mentioned this already, I'm going to England next year. In July. We haven't even booked the flights yet but I'm already counting days. And in a serendipitous twist of fate that makes me think someone at H&M has a direct line to my mind, they have just announced that they will be collaborating with Jimmy Choo (of the gorgeously covetable and not very cheap shoes) to produce a range of shoes and bags, and apparently also clothes. I'm squeaking as I type this!

The range will available from 14 November in 200 H&M stores across the world.

Of all the many, many (many) shops I visited on our trip to England in 2007 H&M was my favourite for it's huge range, excellent basics combined with high fashion looks and affordable prices. I was looking forward to going back there anyway, and now ... well Jimmy Choos darling, need I say more.

So to whet your appetite, here is the Jimmy Choo Grant:

These are beautiful silk satin peep toes made sublime by the bow and jewel embellishment. Also available in nude, which are beautiful too. GBP514 from Jimmy Choo.

Read about the collaboration on the H&M website, I eagerly await the first pictures of the range (and I promise to share them with you).

I may be obsessive but at least my polishes are well organised

I am a constant source of amusement to the Eccentric English Boyfriend. Which is understandable, my capacity for doing/saying silly things knows no bounds. But one of the things that amuses him the most is that I have a tendency to be a little, shall we say, obsessive about organising things. Now I maintain that this is not a bad thing. Seriously when it comes to organising things I am Queen!

And how do I keep track of all the nail polishes on my wishlist (and believe me there are lots)? Why with a fabulously organised spreadsheet of course:

You might have to click on the photo to enlarge it and see it in all it's glory, and that's not even half of it, there's several more screens worth. It's sorted into columns by brand, and under each brand are two columns for the polish name and a swatch picture, so each time I see a polish I like on one of the many nail polish blogs I follow I can paste the swatch into my spreadsheet. The yellow cells are polishes that I have ordered, I initially thought about deleting them once the polish has arrived, but then I thought perhaps I could keep them in the spreadsheet and eventually add all the polishes I own so that it becomes a catalogue of my polishes. And then I could order the brands alphabetically across the top, because that will make it easier to find them. And probably the polishes too, they could be alphabetical by name. And then, I could totally add a third column under each brand for comments about the polishes' application when I've tried them on. And then, and then ...

Oh, excuse me, got a little excited there, feeling the need to go organise something ...

Your daily dose of pretty: Forever 21 dress

Sometimes simple is better. Some of the most gorgeous clothes are also the most basic, lifted beyond ordinary by beautiful and tasteful embellishment. Which is the case with this dress:

What we have here is a very basic but beautifully proportioned strapless dress, made beautiful by the ruched bodice in a gorgeous blue. And, it's only US$24.80 from Forever 21. WANT!