The Top 10 Fashion and Beauty Commandments for Commuters

As you may, or may not be aware, I work in London. However, I don’t live in London. Instead, I choose, like thousands more, to commute to work each day. Whether this is a wise decision or not is to be debated, but that pretty much sums up my 9-5 (actually, it’s more like 7-7. YAWN)

So, what relevance does this have for my blog? Well, I’ve been thinking for some time to incorporate some of things I’ve learnt whilst travelling into some blog posts, so if you ever have to commute for work, visit London, or simply have a long journey ahead of you, I can hopefully help you.
This is the first blog in the series, and I wanted to start with the basics: The 10 commuter commandments: beauty and fashion edition. Let me know if you have any other commandments I’ve missed out, and anything you’d like me to investigate re. travel based beauty hacks, for example.
The Commuters Beauty and Fashion Commandments
  1. Hello hygiene! It might seem obvious (I hope this is obvious) but travelling for long hours isn’t just boring, it can also be stressful. Running for trains, especially in heat, can wreck havoc on your blood pressure, let alone your sweat levels (yuk). So, next time you’re heading the big smoke, stock up on your preferred brand of spray and go wild! Boots also do travel size versions so you can chuck one in your handbag for a cheeky top up at the end of the day. Not that you need it, but, y’know, just in case…
  2. Face wipes, face wipes, face wipes. I can’t say it enough, keeping your skin clean in a polluted city can make a biiiig difference. London is notorious for drying skin, and can change your unblemished complexion into one you’d rather hide. Only problem is, when you do get a breakout, you want to then cover up in heavy make-up. So, avoid those pesky blackheads and grab some face wipes next time you’re in Boots/Superdrug etc. My favourites are from Simple’s range. They are great at cleaning your skin, and getting rid of make-up – double whammy. d9888b3cbf506195a045a5dfc63f8ca6
  3. Layers or big coat? Always a tricky one. I’m definitely in the ‘layers’ camp. That way, I can de-robe on the Northern Line should it be rammed (which is ALWAYS). I always find that the temperature on the tube has no relation to the actual weather, so wrapping up warm for the bus is always wise, but bare in mind the packed Tube you’re about to get in when picking your outfit that morning. H & M and Topshop do some great basics pieces, which are great for layering, as well a some great statement coats if you want to opt for a big coat to get snuggly in. 9dc2144eea07c4435707b807ee0148bf
  4. Freshen up! Your commute might not take long, or you might be on a 7 hour flight – either way, if you don’t have access to a toothbrush you might feel like you want to inject some minty freshness in to your travels. Stick some gum in your makeup bag and you won’t be stuck avoiding after work drinks because you had tuna sarnies at lunch.
  5. Heels or flats? The age old debate I’ve seen rage on in several Metro issues: should women who work in the City (i.e. those who wear suits to work) wear trainers to work, and then change into heels in the office? Personal preference? I’d wear black flats, and then change, but honestly, each to their own. There are some great smart trainers nowadays, and flat pumps which double as fitness trainers, so you can wear them all day without worrying you’ll forget your backup heels. Especially if you have to rush into that meeting sans Kurt Geigers. 7951a8b4c23c43b11f85562a32778f1f
  6. It’s free, so why not? Who doesn’t love something that’s free? You are literally spoilt for choice in London which, like several other major cities, offers free magazines and newspapers to its visitors. Tuesday is my personal favourite – it’s Stylist day! I love Stylist because it covers everything from fashion to female opinion articles, beauty and book reviews. To be honest, I’d quite happily pay for Stylist – It’s that good. They’ve got a Twitter account too, if you don’t have the chance to pick up a copy.
  7. Hair refresh, or another hit of the snooze button? A daily challenge I can assure you. Do you get up and fully wash your hair, or leave it 5 minutes, and just condition? Or was it a crap night sleep, and you’d rather not even bother? No judgement, we have all been there, but if you do want to dodge the shower in the morning, grab some dry shampoo and hair ties/pins, and stick them with your travel sized deodorant for a quick spruce up half way throughout the day. They are also great if you get caught in a downpour, and your do just isn’t doing it any more.
  8. One outfit, or two? Been invited out for drinks after work, or visiting friends but don’t want to lug a massive over night bag on the train? Check out my previous blogs on day to night outfits that can take you from desk to dance floor in a quick change of makeup and jeans. It means you can take less to work, but still have a great night. Take a look at my Polyvore too if you want more outfit inspiration, or you just want a cheeky nose. I won’t tell anyone, promise.
    Dress Code #2: Day to Night, Office to Bar
  9. Let there be…water? hydrates your skin, especially in winter when there is less hydration in the air (hence dryer skin in December). So grab a bottle and stick it in your handbag for a top up on the train. Remember to drink up at your desk too. Try keeping a 2litre bottle by your laptop so you can see how much you’ve drank throughout the day.
  10. Experiment and explore. You could be travelling to a city you see every day, or visiting one for the first time. Either way, there is so much you could see and do, but more importantly there are so many new places to SHOP. Even in the train stations you can cram in a quick purchase or two before the train back home. 53fbfc12a6b411c7afab6ad218954ce1
I hope these commandments help you in your travels in the future! Would you add any others if you wrote your own commandments? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy travels!
Alice x

Outfit: Christmas shopping

I was chatting to my lovely Mum this morning, discussing tres important matters, such as Christmas shopping! Then we both mentioned how, especially when shopping for clothes, changing between your several winter layers into clothes you’re trying can be annoying, not to mention you overheat!

So, in a bid to spread some festive joy ;), I’ve shared my outfit for Christmas shopping this year. Lighter materials, and only a couple of layers, which can easily fold into a handbag if needed. So you can spend more time worrying what to get your friends for Christmas, rather than wasting time getting in and out of your disco pants in the Topshop changing rooms. Let me know what you think!

Christmas shopping

Ralph lauren top
$165 – veryeickhoff.com

Toast angora sweater
$180 – toast.co.uk

Pull&Bear zip skinny jeans
$33 – pullandbear.com

Forever New rose gold watch
$32 – forevernew.com.au

Find me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Happy blogmas!

Alice x

Winter layers

I commute into London for work every day, so planning outfits isn’t always successful. On several occasions I’ve either severely over dressed or under dressed and have been left freezing/melting in central London. One thing I’ve found which normally always works is layering, and below is one of my staple favourites I love, and which can work well this winter.

Let me know what you think! 🙂

Winter layers

Miss Selfridge top
$23 – missselfridge.com

Faux leather jacket
$82 – newlook.com

True Religion denim legging
$195 – vanmildert.com

Find me on Twitter

Happy blogmas!

Alice x

Windy weather ruined your ‘do?

It’s always the way. You spend ages sorting your hair in the morning, straightening, curling, styling… to get out of the house, and to work, uni or college, only for the weather to get between you and a reasonably looking hairstyle. Then you’re left with messed up locks, making you wish you’d spent that half hour in bed, keeping warm…

So, next time you see bad weather predicted (or simply want an extra 5 minutes tucked up) take a second to learn these pretty easy up-do’s. They’re relatively simple, look effortless, and don’t mean you have to limit your style just because Mother Nature decided to chuck it down. Up-do’s can be glamorous and easy, allowing you to look fab and worry about more important things, like avoiding puddles and catching your bus on time.

Style number 1: The messy bun

Save the perfected top knots for ballerinas, and turn bed head locks into effortless style. Even if you have shorter hair, there’s nothing a little back combing and pinning can’t fake. Even with a shorter bob, I would tip my head up, pull my hair into a hairband, backcomb and pin into a bun. The messier the better – feel free to loosen the bun, and let a few straggles free. If you do have longer hair, try curling the very ends, and let them loose out of your bun. Curls can also add definition to your top knot, rather than a perfectly coiffed ballerina-esque style.

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Style number 2: The side plait

More easy going than a bridesmaid-esque french plait, and less headache-y than a fishtail style. All that’s required is the ability to plait 3 sections of hair, and a tie. If the weather is really rubbish the aim is to keep your style pretty loose and un-perfected, because if you do end up looking windswept, it hasn’t completely ruined your look – simply added character to it 😉 59f0d75e8c43478b539607b4fdade30ab0c8e23fd4d5e1091e7dc66b1eb9b8176a520ca152bc45aa7a5f3e20c6570de0

Style number 3: The low pony

Seeing a pattern emerge here? All pretty low maintenance styles, which don’t rely on several hours of prep, and don’t require perfectly straightened or meticulously curled hair…? 🙂 The low pony might sound low impact style-wise, but styled correctly can really add to your outfit – what ever the weather. Bangs or no bangs, a low pony looks best with a slightly backcombed at the crown, and tied at the nape of your neck. If you want to add extra volume, try adding extra pins just above the hair tye, or hairspray to keep the look in place. If you want to disguise a hair tye, try wrapping a cm of hair around the pony, and securing with a pin below the pony, above the nape of your neck.

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So there you have it! 3 relatively easy up-do’s to save your locks in rubbish weather. Let me know if you try any out, and link to your blogs below if you’ve got any more tips, or alternative ‘bad weather styles’.

You can find me on Twitter and bloglovin’

Happy blogmas!

Alice x

Ps. I don’t own these images. There are available on Pinterest, and each image is directly linked to the pin on Pinterest.

Winter Make-Up Trends

So, I’ve spent most of this week debating with several groups of friends what I should, or definitely shouldn’t, wear to Christmas parties this December (yes, my life is that interesting!)

However, the only thing I can decide on is the make-up and nails – something dark. I know most people dye their hair darker when the weather gets colder, but for once I’ve stayed blonde and feel I need to go dark elsewhere this Winter. So, I’m thinking Wine coloured nails (more Pinot Noir than Grigio), classic smokey eyes and lashings of mascara. All I need now is a dress…

Nails. Dark reds always tend to shine more in the winter. Try a delicious dark red, and either a top-coat of Barry M shine, or Essie’s matte to add something extra. An accent nail in a similar shaded glitter, or nail caviar, could add a little extra if you’re looking for some sparkle too.

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Blushed cheeks A great tip I heard recently is to apply blusher under a light later of foundation for a rosy cheek effect, rather than after foundation. It looks more subtle too, especially if you’re worried about your blush overpowering your look.
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Smokey eyes. Certain to add a little extra to daytime make-up, smokey eyes done well can transform your outfit, with rock chick effortlessness. Want a break from the staple grey/black smokey eyes? Try gold, or even rose gold, this winter.There are no rules! Having statement eye makeup doesn’t mean you need to tone down the rest of your look, just wear what you feel comfortable in.

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Sultry lips. Dark red lips are fast becoming a winter night favourite. Paired with a LBD and heels, you’ll pretty much nail any dress code this Christmas. A brighter shade might work fabulously with smudged eyes, but pale pink lips might look stunning with natural eye makeup. It’s all down to personal preferences, and you’re willingness to experiment.

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What make up looks are you looking forward to this winter? Please post links to your blogs below if have any tips you want to share.

Find me on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Bloglovin’.

Happy blogmas!

Alice x

ps I don’t own the images above, but I have linked to the pinterest accounts they are taken from. Just click the images and pin away!

It’s almost December?!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s December tomorrow! Yes, Christmas adverts have graced telly for a few months now, but it still hasn’t sunk in!

So, it’s officially now the festive season, and to celebrate I’m uploading a new blog every day! Let’s call it Blogmas, why not…

Check back every day in December to find the latest blog on anything and everything from affordable winter fashion, Christmas party dress decoders and winter skin care rescue remedies.

And if after the festive season you feel a bit in need of a detox and a long run after too many mince pies, then head back after the 25th for some fitness fashion tips, detox secrets and New Years resolution inspiration.

I want to make this a collaborative blog too, so please feel free to comment or tweet me if you want me to cover any other topics! Find me on Twitter: @alicebrazier, Pinterest, Instagram and Bloglovin.

I’m really excited to share this with you, and I’d love to read your blogs too, so please share them in the comments below.

Happy blogmas!

Alice xx

September favourites

So, it’s been a while, huh?!

Let me explain. 2013 has been a mixed year. Plenty of highs, and horrible lows, but after changing jobs to start working in London, everything is starting to look up! Any way, life update over!

I often find myself overwhelmed in Boots or Superdrug, with shelves and shelves of similar looking products, all boasting similar little miracles. Honestly, one thing that helps me out is other bloggers monthly favourites videos, showcasing repeat purchases or new favourites, helping me to cut through the crap and get to the goodies you’ve all been raving about.

So, in a bid to give back to all you wonderful monthly reviewers, here is my first monthly favourites blog. Enjoy!

1) L’oreal Wild Ombrès. Late to the bandwagon, I KNOW, but it’s standing the test of time for me. I went for the darkest shade of L’oreals Wild Ombré, but left it on slightly longer than advertised, and promptly bleached the ends of my hair leaving it in need of some tlc! See favourite no.4 for the recovery process 😉

2) L’oreal Caresse Lipstick (shade 03/Lovely Rose). I’ve never been a ‘bright lip’ kind of a girl (more smokey eyes if I’m honest), so I pretty much only have pretty pinks or pale nudes in my make up bag. So, even though I have several shades of pink, L’oreals Caresse is so gorgeously soft, and he colour lasts so long. Big, big fan.

3) Escada ‘Cherry in the air’. OHMYGOSH. I was given this as a gift from my extremely generous boyfriend (after previously purchasing another Escada perfume) and was initially unsure over the sweetness of it’s successor. However, it is honestly gorgeous, and I have had so many compliments over the scent that I’m seriously considering stockpiling this limited edition beauty!

4) Richard Ward: The Chelsea Collection. Now, I was sent these products to review, but I wouldn’t be putting them in a monthly favourites if they hadn’t completely changed the quality of my hair over the last 30 days. As you’ve previously read, I loveeee a good hair dye session, and am no stranger to a bottle of bleach. This is great for my short attention span and lack of interest in one hair colour, but not so great when my conditioner has to pick up the pieces. So, ombre applied, I washed out the dye and my hair was a little worse for wear. I tried a couple of hair masks, which worked for a day or two, but I needed something long term. This range worked so well that I’m defiantly investing in the set. My hair has not only been restored to it’s previous glory, but it is growing again, too. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go hell for leather with a bottle of bleach and use this to manage the peroxide results, but it helped me regain the silky smooth locks I once only thought possible for my ‘play-it-safe’ brunette phases.

So, any thoughts? I’ll be uploading a fashion favourites soon too (ASOS anyone?!), so feel free to tweet me or reply to this blog with any suggestions, and any of your monthly favourites.

Find me on twitter: @alicebrazier and Pinterest

Ahhh. It feels good to be back 🙂

A x

Dress Code #2: Day to Night, Office to Bar

Dress Code #2: Day to Night, Office to Bar

River island
$34 – riverisland.com

Label lab
$39 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Pencil skirt
$37 – inlovewithfashion.com

High waisted jeans
$35 – newlook.com

Platform high heel pumps
$38 – fashionunion.com

Pull Bear pull bear
$46 – pullandbear.com

Jane norman
$23 – janenorman.co.uk

So, I thought I’d follow up this weeks post with a slightly more affordable day to night look!

Whenever I go out after work I often take an entire change of clothes, but it generally means I have to leave half my wardrobe at work, which can be a hassle the following Monday!

Let me know what you think of this outfit, and post and ideas you have in the comments.

Thanks!

A x

Follow me on Twitter – @alicebrazier

Dress code #1: Workwear

Have you ever been invited to an event, job interview or party, and been completely baffled by the dress code, especially if its so vague? Imagine being invited for an interview at a company you know wear jeans and hoodies on a daily basis. Should you wear a smart outfit for the interview, or go in something more casual?

In this blog series, I’m aiming to bring you some simple ideas about how to adhere to vague dress code requests, for a variety of situations. Let me know what you would wear, and if you like these outfits you can link to my Polyvore for more of my boards!

First up is Workwear.

I’ve worked in a few different offices, but one thing has maintained throughout. The darker the colour of your clothes, the smarter it appears. I know it sounds strange, but imagine if you wore a bright pink summer dress. It would look very casual. But, if you wore the same dress in a dark purple, or even black, it would instantly look a lot smarter.

So many factors will affect your available fashion choices. Your offices code of conduct, how other people dress and the season will all factor in to what you can and can’t wear. But always remember to wear something which makes you feel comfortable. Just because every girl in the office is wearing sky scraper stilletos, it doesn’t mean you can’t crack out your little black flats. Stick to what works for you, but style it to look best for your new office environment.

A few things I’ve picked up are…

  • Hem lines.Whether it’s your trousers, chinos, pencil skirt or dress – make sure they are neat. Also, a general unwritten rule, is your skirt shouldn’t really come above your knees. A little prehistoric, I know, but it looks so much smarter when your dress covers your bum – especially in unpredictable British weather! A trick for longer looking lengths on black skirts is to wear thicker black tights. It’s creates the illusion of a slightly longer skirt. Just, fyi….
  • Trends Just because it’s in fashion right now, doesn’t mean you can’t wear it for the office. Wearing a peplum top over slim leg suit trousers looks chic, and teaming it with plain black pumps or heels can take your look up a notch.

Essentially, whilst each office is different, dress codes for workwear normally just want their employees to look presentable, and ready to meet customers. Messy hair and ripped jeans are normally big no-no’s, and some employers are even adding ‘No Leggings’ to their contracts to fit in with recent fashions.

Below is an idea I’ve put together for office wear. Let me know what you think, and if you would wear something similar! I’d love to see your ideas to, so if you have a Pinterest board or Polyvore account feel free to link it below.

A x

Add me on Twitter – @alicebrazier
Add me on Pinterest – aliloubee
Follow me on Instagram – alicebrazier

Dress code #1: Workwear

Joules crew neck shirt
$92 – vanmildert.com

Double breasted trench coat
$995 – aquascutum.co.uk

Stella mccartney
stellamccartney.com

Rupert sanderson shoes
rupertsanderson.com

Pieces shoulder bag
$50 – pieces.com