Friday, 18 November 2011

Hi, stud (or: Sandy from Grease is way hotter at the end of the film)

So this morning, with the weather all bloom-y and warm and lovely (Wellington weather, y u do dis with the changing of the seasons constantly) I decided "Self, it is time to rock some 50s retro style. Get out your winged eyeliner and your preppy knit shirt and your floral circle skirt. And let's do a high ponytail with the ends curled." Not having the time or inclination to argue with myself that early in the morning (well, 10.30, which is not really early by any stretch of the imagination but still) I faithfully curled my hair, and winged my eyeliner, and put on this adorably twee shirt. 

And then I got to the point of putting on a floofy petticoat, and held up my floral skirt, and something in me rebelled. Sandy is way hotter at the end of Grease than at the beginning, it said. And not owning a pair of tight leather pants, a ruffled leather miniskirt was the next best thing. Aww yeah. Admittedly, the shoes I wanted to wear were my super-high black wooden platforms, but when my flatmate cautiously agreed with me that yeah, they might be a little too trashy, combined with the short leather skirt, for my workplace, these little floral brogues were the next best thing.

Details (click picture for larger version): Pink/black silk shirt, Fred Perry. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Black tights, supermarket. Floral brogues, Shoe Connection.

Have I mentioned I love French-tip style manicures?

So I work a fairly typing-intensive desk job, and also do rather a bit of sewing (with the pins and the wrangling of machines and all else that tends to wreak havoc on unsuspecting polishes), and this means that my nail polishes tend to chip fairly quickly. OH NOES. But although I loved my pink glitter gradient from the beginning of the week (it lasted Sunday-Wednesday, which was not toooo bad, and would have done a lot better with top-up topcoats) I had Other Plans Up My Sleeve, and this was one of them. I love the look of French tips in a contrast or coordinating colour, and when I bought OPI's Your Royal Shineness last week, one of my immediate ideas was to use it as a tip detail. 

This idea was backed up when I swatched it on my nails - it's an odd all-over polish, and the fine metallic shows up every single dent or imperfection in your nail (although this might be somewhat remedied with a base coat). But as a French tip (and as a gradient over a dark polish, as I discovered last week but did not photograph because I don't even know why) it works super-well. The base colour is OPI Steady as She Rose, which I've mentioned before is supposed to be a grey-rose, but comes out very lavender-grey with faint pink hints, so works perfectly with a slightly dirty silver.

Aww yeah. The little bit that look as if they're missing from the silver tip are actually just light reflection. I would like to take a moment to crow over the surprising success of my freehanded tips, also. AWW YEAH.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Octopus necklace? AW YEAH

I have a theory about dresses, and that theory is that you know a dress is really awesome when you can wear it perfectly happily without any big coordinations, dressings up or froufy additions. Sure, you can add a belt, or some really over-the-top statement jewellery, or a scarf, but when you get down to basics, the dress has good enough bones that it can stand on its own.

As you might be able to tell, this dress is one of those dresses for me. It's a very simple navy dress from Ricochet, with a bit of interest added by the lace insert panels on the shoulders, but I love this kind of outfit in a way that is possibly a little unreasonable. Navy dress, leggings, flat boots, a leather jacket and printed wool scarf? Sounds like a perfect early-spring/summer outfit, right? (Yes, it might be the middle of November, but Wellington's southerly winds know not your "seasons", and today was surprisingly cold. Boots cold.) The octopus necklace is a birthday gift from my best friend - I have a wee bit of a thing for cephalopods, so it's really rather perfect.

Details (click picture for larger version): Navy dress, Ricochet. Black leggings, Glassons. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Silver octopus necklace, gifted, from Pixel Ink. Pink faux-leather jacket, Dotti. Blue/paisley wool scarf, gifted, via a friend cleaning out her bar's lost-and-found.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Daily outfit: oh, how I love grey and chiffon

After a week of sick leave, I am BACK at WORK doing worky things and hopefully not dying or giving my workmates Plague. I'm sure they appreciate it. So anyway, in getting dressed this morning, I revelled in the joy of being able to dress up for work again and not just throwing on a pair of leggings, a long singlet and a hoodie in which I could skulk around the house coughing up a lung (somehow, I don't think "illness wear" is going to be the new "resort wear" anytime soon). Or at least, I would have revelled in the joy, had I not slept in a wee bit and thus been on a slightly tight getting-ready-for-work schedule. In any case, I decided that I hadn't worn this dress in a wee while, and I had never outfit-blogged it, so it deserved to be worn with a pair of leggings and my new, ridiculously fantastic high heels.

These heels, dear readers, are a full five inches (although, bless them, a good inch and a half of the height is in the platform). I am usually an even five-five, a not-too-shabby height, but standing at five-ten and having a full couple of inches height on my Tall And Statuesque flatmate is really rather fantastic. The dress is silk chiffon, bought on Amazing End Of Season Sale (it is from Ricochet's autumn/winter 11 collection, which as previously mentioned I am in complete love with), and I feel just a little bit Rule Breaky while wearing it. It's very clearly an empire line, and I'm not sure whether that makes me look a little pregnant or whether that's just the received wisdom (well, "wisdom") about empire lines on everyone ever, and the skirt has intriguing volume in slightly odd places, and the sleeves are also super-voluminous with their big gathered puffs. And I'm not a model-thin waif on whom volume adds the illusion of curves - I already have plenty of those. But I fucking love this dress, and anyone who tells me it's not flattering can a) eat a dick and b) go talk to my friend Pearls in Vinegar while she is wearing this shirt

Details (click picture for larger version): Grey silk chiffon dress, Ricochet via Gregory. Black leather belt, Agnes B via Trademe. Black cotton leggings, Glassons. Black wood-sole heels, Ultra Shoes. Birdcage necklace, birthday gifted from a friend.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Gradients are awesome

Have I told y'all recently that I love gradient colour at the moment? 'Cuz I do. A "gradient/ombre effects are cool" post is coming soon (with ombre fabric! And hair! And probably more gradient-effect nails!) but for now, here's a subtle nude/pink glitter gradient I did. Confession: I did this at 3.30am last night (this morning?) while more than a little drunk, and sitting in bed in a dressing gown. I am somewhat surprised it turned out so prettily. 

To get the gradient effect, I've painted a single/base coat of French pink (no particular brand, just a French manicure set my sister gave me years ago) and then a couple of coats of OPI Teenage Dream. With the glitter, I did one layer very thinly, dabbing most of the polish off the brush and starting about halfway down the nail for the first coat. Then I did another coat starting about three quarters of the way down, building up the glitter more thickly, and topped it off with a clear topcoat. All the tutorials I've seen for gradient effects recommend using a sponge to dab on the polish, and this would definitely be easier than using a brush, but I was working with what I had (at 3am in bed, ha) and glitter is a bit easier to dab on with a brush than a creme colour would be.

These kind of remind me of ballerinas for some reason - perhaps it's that the pink gradient somehow reminds me of a tutu? In any case, I think they're freaking adorable and I can't stop waggling my fingers around to watch the glitter catch the light.