Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Rainy OOTD

Remember how I said that I wouldn't be posting until I was back from Spain? Well, I'm all packed and organised, the house is clean, Figgy is settled in at the cattery and I have absolutely nothing else to do, which is a first for me considering I'm always the one who forgets something!

After looking at the current results on my poll, a lot of you surprisingly seemed to want more OOTD posts so I thought I'd update with a quick one. We're having really strange weather at the moment, it's hot but pouring with rain so I tried to dress in a way that I wouldn't look silly walking around in the rain but I'd be cool too!

I normally take outfit photos in my kitchen, but the power is out in that room so the lights are out and I can't seem to fix it. The only other room is the living room which is decorated with my parents' appalling taste in art and the yellow wallpaper makes everything in the room look yellow, so apologises for the photo quality! I have used a filter to try and correct the colour a bit but I think it may have made it worse! It's a little blurry as I used my phone to take it.

Top - Ebay
Skirt - Vixxsin at Attitude Clothing
Tights - The Gothic Shop
Boots - Dr Martens
Lipstick - OCC Lip Tar in Black Dahlia
Necklace - Alchemy Gothic Bat Necklace from The Gothic Shop

I would usually wear my high boots with this outfit, but the grass is quite muddy and I didn't want to ruin them! The necklace I'm wearing is my current favourite. I think I've worn it every day since I bought it!

This will definitely be my last update before I leave for Spain. My flight is in the early hours of tomorrow morning and I'm dreading having to be up and around before it's light. I will be back on the August 15th. I may or not be able to reply to comments during that time, I'm still not sure if we'll have internet or not.

I hope you all have a lovely week! Are you going anywhere on holiday this year?

Disclosure: I bought everything in this post myself.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Box of Treasures

As some of you may have noticed from reading this blog, I have acquired a jewellery collecting problem, which has caused my collection to expand... I have suddenly ended up with quite a few pieces and nowhere to store them. And considering that I found my Alchemy Gothic Passion necklace stuffed down the side of the printer yesterday, it was a problem that needed a solution. I'd been thinking about buying a larger jewellery box for a long time. I was using a small cardboard jewellery box that was overflowing, and it reached a point where I was just selecting the necklace at the top of the pile because it was too much effort to untangle everything to get to the bottom. Plus I couldn't close the lid so it wasn't very attractive!

I've always had a thing for jewellery boxes, and I can see me keeping this one for a very long time. My Nanna used to have a little jewellery box that she'd had for years, and she always used to let me play with it when I was small. I used to spend ages looking through all of her pieces (she had quite an extravagant taste in jewellery) and it used to fascinate me. Being allowed to look through it always like a responsibility and I always felt honoured that she would let me go through her things. Looking back it's probably where my love of jewellery comes from!

I was walking home from work the over day and I passed one of the very few alternative shops in my area, and they had a gorgeous purple lined jewellery box in the window. I went in and enquired about it and they mentioned that they also had a larger one in stock that was red velvet lined instead of purple. They very kindly went and searched for it, and I fell in love.

It has little elephants on the front, with an almost unnoticeable hinge on the side that allows you to lock it with a padlock. It has a beautiful floral border around the edges that continues down onto the spine, which reminds me of a closed book. Inside, it has a red velvet lining and a small mirror, and pull out compartments. It's quite large when you pull everything out! I'm glad that I went for the larger of the two boxes, as it's still a little snug with my jewellery packed into it! My only little complaint is that it has a small dent in the top, but aside from that it's a beautiful box. It must have been out in the shop for a long time because it smells quite strongly of incense! It's a lovely box and I hope it will last for a very long time!

This may or may not be my last post for awhile. I go to Spain for two weeks on Wednesday, and I get back on the 15th. I will hopefully have some holiday photos to post when I get back, depending on whether or not I do anything interesting! I don't know if I'll be able to reply to comments during that time, but I might be on Instagram (depending on whether or not I have internet). I'd also like to thank everyone who had voted on my poll so far, it's a great help, and quite surprising! I've extended it until I get home. I'll definitely think of doing more outfit posts since so many of you voted for them!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Illamasqua Sale Purchases

If there's one thing that I absolutely cannot resist, it is an Illamasqua sale. They are one of my favourite brands, but they are unfortunately extremely expensive, so their sales are really the only chance that I get to try out some of their products for a reasonable price. Luckily for me they seem to have them at least twice a year now and I'm always looking to see what they've added! I was planning on buying a polish since they are by far my favourite polish formula, but I ended up buying two other products too. I went for a medium pencil in Fidelity, nail polish in Viridian and cream pigment in Mould.

Cream Pigment in Mould

I can distinctly remember the Toxic Nature collection coming out awhile ago and being incredibly intrigued by the cream pigments, but I was always put off by the high price tag. £17.50 for a single shadow was definitely out of my price zone! I'd probably pay that for a really good palette but for one eyeshadow that I might not even like? Absolutely not. So, when I saw this in the sale I added it to my basket in a flash! I love purples and Mould seemed to be exactly my sort of shade.

The cream pigments come in the usual sleek Illamasqua packaging. Honestly, the packaging isn't that great. I was expecting something a little more sturdy. The lid pops off easily, it doesn't feel very secure, and I'm quite concerned about the product drying out. It is pretty, it just isn't that practical in my opinion!

Mould is a gorgeous deep, smoky grape. I knew I'd love it as soon as I opened the box and I'm not disappointed. I apply this with a brush and set it with translucent powder and it lasts all day. The colour is buildable and you can easily control the intensity. You do have to set it with powder. The first time I used this I didn't use powder and it had already begun to crease and fade as I was applying my make up! With powder over the top it lasts all day, easily. It has even survived the current heatwave that we are having!

Medium Pencil in Fidelity

I don't own many pencils. Most of the make up I wear requires a black pencil, but for softer looks I was having to skip liner completely. I had decided that I needed a nice brown liner a long time ago, but I never got around to buying one. When I saw this for £5 in the sale, I thought I'd be mad not to buy it.

Illamasqua describe this as a milk chocolate brown. It's incredibly soft and pigmented and it lasts a long time (I've not worn it all day so I can't say specifically how long). Unfortunately, there is too much red in this for me and I can't see me ever using it, which is a shame because if it had been the right colour for me it would have been a lovely pencil!

Nail Varnish in Viridian

As I mentioned earlier, Illamasqua polishes are my favourite! I own Baptisite, Charisma, Poke, Scorn and Phallic so far, and I can't fault any of them. They last at least five days on me, and they apply like a dream! I'd been lusting over Viridian for ages, so I was very pleased when I saw it in the sale!

Illamasqua describe this as a peacock green. It's a very unusual colour, and very difficult to describe accurately. My pictures do not do it justice at all. It's stunningly beautiful. I couldn't stop staring at my nails after I used it! You even get away with just one coat. I used two in these pictures.

I am still tempted to order a few more things in the sale now it has been reduced even further, mainly a varnish from the Paranormal collection, another cream pigment and the Creator polish! I'd defintiely recommend picking up a few of the £5 pieces if you are curious about the brand.

All of these products can be purchased from the Illamasqua website.

Have you ordered anything from the Illamasqua sale?

Disclosure: I bought all of these products myself.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Get Your Freak On Tag

It has been a long time since I've done any tag posts hasn't it? I will confess that I've not really had the time to finish any draft posts this week so I thought a tagged post might be fun! I was tagged by Katie from Oh to Feel Pretty.

1. What's a nickname only your family calls you? 

I don't really have one. I was called Scary Clairey by a few people at school though. I don't think I need to explain that one...

2. What's a weird habit of yours? 

I have a lot of weird habits! Organising things constantly and making sure they are lined up perfectly straight is probably one. That and having to check if the door is locked three times if I'm alone in the house.

3. Do you have any weird phobias? 

I'm terrified of dogs, and I have been for as long as I can remember. I can't go near them and I'll go out of my way to avoid them.

4. What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone? 

I don't really have one! The last song I played out loud when I was alone in the house was this, but it isn't a secret!

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves? 

Chewing gum really irritates me, and people who say 'Aw, bless' in normal conversation. It makes me want to kill you. Also, people who have no manners. I hate it when I hold the door open for someone and they just march through, for instance. It's so rude!

6. What's one of your nervous habits? 

Playing with my hair. I keep trying to stop but I only move onto something else equally as annoying!

7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

Closest to the wall. No idea why!

8. What was your first stuffed animal and its name? 

A bear named Deek (he was named by a five year old). I've had him since I was a baby; I even have photos of him in my incubator with me!

9. What's the drink you always order at Starbucks? 

At the moment I'm drinking a lot of iced coffee. Mocha is my favourite.

10. What's a beauty rule you preach, but never actually practice? 

Probably skincare regimes! I'm so bad when it comes to sticking to a routine and looking after my skin. I'm great telling other people to do it (in fact I told my sister this morning) but I never do it myself.

11. Which way do you face in the shower? 

We have a really bad shower and the water squirts in all directions, so you have to spin around in circles to get your hair wet...

12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'? 

Not really? I can cross my fingers on both hands but so can a lot of people! It's not really a skill, but I have two webbed toes on my right foot, which a lot of people think is weird!

13. What's your favourite comfort food that's 'bad' but you love to eat it anyway? 

Just about everything I eat? Probably ice cream at the moment, it's the only thing getting me through this heat wave!

14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say? 

Probably 'super quick.' I also say 'lovely' a lot.

15. Time to sleep, what are you actually wearing? 

An old faded band shirt and black shorts at the moment!

16. What did you used to wear that you thought was cool but now you realize it wasn't that hot? 

Pretty much everything I wore when I was 12/13. Baggy jeans probably being the worst! And that glow in the dark pink eyeshadow wasn't great either...

I'm not going to tag anybody, but let me know if you decide to do this tag! Also, I'd really appreciate it if you'd take a moment to answer the poll on the top right hand corner. It would be really useful for me to know what you enjoy reading so I know that direction to take this blog in, what you'd like to see more of and vice versa. Thank you!

I hope you all have a lovely week and weekend!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).

I've been admiring Barnes and Noble's leather bound edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for ages. I've been watching a copy on Ebay, but I wasn't willing to pay nearly £20 for it. I was very happy when I came across it quite by accident while browsing the Waterstones website, where they were selling it for £12 with free postage.

The title of this post describes my attitude towards books perfectly. I am always telling other people that I'm going to stop buying books that I don't really need, and that I'm going to be organised and give some away or sell a few of them. Do I ever actually do this? No. This is how I've ended up with two bookcases and a bridging unit that are almost full. I already own a paperback version of Wonderland, and now I ought to be trying to convince myself that I don't need both of these versions. I also own The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, but I still insist that I hang onto the individual plays I own. I have absolutely no idea why.

Regardless of whether or not I need it, or have the space for it, it is undeniably beautiful. I'm actually glad that I own it in paperback too, because I'd be very concerned about ruining this one. It looks wonderful on my bookcase!

If you've not read the book next to it, Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, I highly recommend you go out and buy it!
If buying a book that I didn't need purely because it was beautiful wasn't enough, I also decided to head to a book fair a few weeks ago with my mum, who was in need of some holiday reading material. I usually leave book fairs empty handed, so I went along expecting to help her choose a few books and go for coffee, but instead I left with nine books. My mum bought nine also, and it came to a total of £6 for eighteen books!

Ignoring my worn carpet, those are my book fair purchases! I was extremely pleased to find the full set of The Malloreon series by David Eddings. I thoroughly enjoyed The Belgariad so I'm looking forward to reading those! I also managed to find Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Suspense which was a very welcome sight amongst the piles of books, especially since it was only 50p! It has a wonderful cover.

And while we are on the subject of things that I shouldn't be buying...I also bought a lovely necklace from The Crypt of Curiosities on Etsy a few weeks ago. I wanted to share a couple of pictures of it since it's so pretty, but I didn't think it warranted a whole post. I will admit that I'd opened the bag before I took the photo, but I couldn't help myself! It was also too beautifully packaged not to photograph.

The quality of light in my room is really strange at the moment, sorry!
It's a really pretty necklace. I had to shorten it because it was too long for me so it hangs a little differently (I have to shorten almost all the jewellery I buy). It's a lot simpler and minimalistic than my other necklaces, but I think that's why I like so much! I've been getting a lot of wear of it. I can't fault the service either, it was dispatched quickly and it's a gorgeous necklace!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from Barnes and Noble costs £12.00 and can be purchased from the Waterstones website.

Do you get attached to books? How do you finally convince yourself to part with them?

Disclaimer: I purchased all of the items in this post myself.

Monday, 8 July 2013

#altbloggers Hashtag

Hi everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Just a very quick (and rather unplanned!) update today.

I was having a discussion with the lovely Ali from Zombies Wear Eyeliner on Twitter (I'm spending a lot of time on Twitter hiding from the current heatwave that has hit England) and we got talking about creating a hashtag for alternative bloggers for fellow Twitter users. We have a beauty hashtag, a lifestyle hashtag and various other topics out there - but so far I haven't discovered one specifically for alternative bloggers (please correct me if I'm wrong by the way). I know that I personally rely on Twitter a lot for finding new blogs to read and I think it would be really helpful to have a specific place on Twitter (and Instagram) to find similar blogs that we would enjoy reading. I think #altbloggers would probably be an appropriate hashtag (a couple of people on Twitter have already used this I think) and it'd be easy to remember. Somewhere to go to find new blogs and new posts to read!

I'd love to know whether or not you'd be on board with this! I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

In Bloom

Some of you may recall my Newstead Abbey post from last April, where I mentioned that I was planning to head back during the summer. Last Sunday I did exactly that, we had surprisingly hot weather and I was really looking forward to finally being able to go around the house (it is only open on weekends). So we packed up a picnic and headed out. I am going to have to apologise for the amount of photos, there was a lot to see!

We arrived a little later than we would have liked, and so we decided to go around the house first because we weren't sure how long it would take. It costs £5 per adult. I was expecting only a handful of rooms to be open, perhaps just the bedroom, library and dining room, but a surprisingly large amount of rooms were available for viewing. The most impressive for me were most certainly Byron's bedroom and the library. The derelict room shown a few pictures down is the room that is supposedly haunted by a monk if you are interested in that sort of thing!

We didn't walk around the gardens extensively, we just headed to the parts that I'd really wanted to see in bloom the last time we went, and although I was expecting them to be beautiful I was astounded by the change! I could scarcely believe that it was the same place, the garden shown is the same one in my last post with the stepping stones if you want a comparison!

The gardens were peaceful in winter, and I was expecting them to be busy because of the nice weather, but they were not. There was a few people walking around but it was still very serene and lovely.

When we were wandering around the house I glanced out of the window and noticed that they were setting up for an outdoor theatre production of As You Like It and I was very sad that I hadn't booked! I think I'll definitely be going to see some of the outdoor theatre productions here next year. It is a wonderful setting.

If you are planning to visit Newstead Abbey I'd definitely recommend that you go in summer. It is worth a visit and the gardens are beautiful.

Have you been anywhere interesting recently?
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