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
Advertisements

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.

445842984059c73ec4049c1112fd1b33

6b33442d4067ddd0f9ec3bafca2fe3662286c15d281670759ea6072f16e73d02

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.

f8b7885c0b0a5d39400bcbd05430e51efcfd75fd80a1e8dfc7b5557d4e574b0af9dcef228ae0b9c195bea8c9568456db

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.

efbc97556b464efc12ce57902c41ce79

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.
220579f2d1f3b04b1e3baa3dab7d218d

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.

e217a7f8dc8cd7ebb775c1d41e5818c6

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.

a0adeb44b830c1d18d9fc576e8fca1f6

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!

Welcome to Blogmas!

 

As you may have read in yesterdays blog post, this December I’m setting out to write a blog post per day, all linking to the festive season!

Now if you’re anything like me, you see the days getting shorter, temperatures getting colder and then BAM. Rubbish hair and crappy complexion.

It sucks, I KNOW.

But why in winter? Well, extreme sun exposure burns our skin in the summer, but changes in temperature also affect the composure of your skin. According to WEB Md and Allure (http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2013/10/how-to-treat-chapped-lips.html) (THE beauty bible), changes in your skin and hair in winter are actually due to lower levels of humidity, leading to dehydration – which can be reversed if you treat it with the right products.

The plus side? The solutions don’t have to be medical, they won’t break your bank, and can easily be found in a high street beauty store. So, breath a sigh of relief, and read on to save your hair and skin this Winter.

Butter moisturisers. Creamier products will apply deeper moisture to the skin, but can often block pores and lead to outbreaks during summer months. However, during Winter they can help your skin recover after periods of exposure to cold weather, by protecting your skin with additional hydration. Try Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter range for great results, as well as a great smell. If you don’t want to wear a heavier moisturiser during the day, save your skin whilst you snooze with a night cream. They are traditionally ‘creamier’ (no, really?!) and can help your skin without blocking pores during the day. A personal favourite is Boot’s No7 Restore and Renew Night Cream. It’s normally a bit pricey, but it’s currently on 3 for 2 in Boots!

Leave in conditioners. It’s hard to get out of bed as it is, without throwing dark Monday mornings in to the mix. Seriously, who decided that was ok?! When you’re rushing to get out of the house, and a quick blow dry and straighten will just have to do. This, coupled with icy wind and pollution aren’t great for your ‘do, so it’s a great idea to chuck a leave in conditioner into your shower routine. Try Lee Staffords Argan Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment. Leave it in for 5-10mins, or my trick is sleeping in it over night and washing it out the next morning. Now, it’s an understatement to say ‘I sometimes dye my hair’, so I use this regularly, but my friends with natural hair colours love this in Winter. Maybe try adding a small wash of your normal conditioner, just on the tips if you want an extra rinse with a fresher smell in the morning.

Lip balm. Sleep in it! It might seem massively obvious, but applying it and then having 40 winks means you wake up with smooth lips and less cracks. You don’t even need to invest in a new product, just continue using your favourites! Another tip is to drink more water than normal. 2litres a day is the national suggested average, it’s not a guideline for everyone. For example, toddlers don’t need that much, and 6ft7″ rugby players will need more. Just add an extra glass or two to keep chapped lips and dry skin at bay. You’ll thank me later

Do you use anything else to keep rubbish winter skin at bay? Is there anything you think I should’ve added, or any tips you want to share? Feel free to share them below in the comments, or tweet me with your tips.

Find me on Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin’

Happy blogmas!

Alice x

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

Why blog?

It’s a question I get asked A LOT. “Why do you blog?”

It started as a want – I’d always wanted to blog – but felt I needed a subject to write about, before I could just start. I tried a personal blog, more an online diary, but felt it wasn’t the right fit.

So, after a little while, I started to right draft blog posts about my fashion and beauty ideas, and from there I launched this blog you’re reading now.

I use my blog as a style diary too. I love to look at what other people are wearing, especially girls my own age from all corners of the globe. I like to try out my own spin on fashion trends, and I love looking back at old blog posts of my favourite bloggers to see how they have changed, and how their style has developed too.

But, why me? Why fashion?

I love the thought of working in fashion or beauty one day, but I didn’t really take a big interest until I was in my late teens. Growing up, I loved sport more than fashion, and spent my days in various sport kits, attending competitions or training. I didn’t really have time to take an interest in clothing, or makeup. But, at university, I really started to notice mix of girls, and how they interpreted trends. Going to somewhere with such a massive mix of people, from all over the UK, and even the world, really introduced me to more styles than I could have ever seen in my hometown.

So, effectively, I’m pretty new at the this!

I’m learning new things every day, and I want to write about my approach to fashion, and introduce other beginners to it too. When I have built up a few more blog posts, I’m really excited about launching a YouTube channel too, with trend and beauty reviews, body shape advice, and style tips.

Why do you blog? Is it something you just love doing, or do you have other reasons for it? Have you ever thought of vlogging too, or creating make up tutorials online? Or, have you never blogged, but thought about launching one?

Let me know, I love to hear from you 🙂 x

20130417-123646 PM.jpg

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

How to: Make your own tie up crop vest

I have so many cropped tops.

I have colour block ones, plain ones, text ones, patterned…. You get it, I have a lot.

But, despite this, I still wanted more!

I had an old, slightly battered I heart NY top from Primark that I thought was the perfect contender to show you how to make your own. Enjoy!

Step 1. Find a t shirt. (Maybe test on a top that you don’t mind ruining first, or just to check the cut/measurements for your new crop top) I’m fairly tall, so where I’ve cut mine might not work for you if you’re really petite – for example.

Step 2. Cut roughly a cm/inch around the neck seam, and remove.

Step 3. Remove the sleeves, and cut to roughly 2cm below the seam. (Cut more if you want a deep vest style, great for little bralet or bandeau tops in the summer!)

Step 4. Try the top on. Adjust and style to work for you, and work out where is best to cut across for the tie up front detailing. Make a pencil mark just below the chosen line, so when cutting across you aren’t left with a pencil line.

Step 5. Cut in a straight line from the outside in, roughly a quarter of the total width. Mark the middle of the shirt for complete accuracy, and to help with the tie front.

Step 6. Roughly cut out two triangles for the tie. They don’t need to be perfect, because they will be tied up eventually.

Step 7. Cut off the back section of the lower half, so your top is now fully cropped, with the two tie sections left.

Hey presto! Your top is complete!

Below are the pictures to help, and also some styling ideas I will be wearing with my new crop.

See you soon!
A x

Follow me on Twitter
Add me on Pinterest
Add me on Instagram – AliceBrazier
Find me on Polyvore, search for Alice Brazier

20130331-111107 PM.jpg

20130331-111142 PM.jpg

20130331-111201 PM.jpg

20130331-111220 PM.jpg

20130331-111317 PM.jpg

20130331-111400 PM.jpg