Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Carvela Brogue Lace Up Booties and Vintage Silk Scarf

Brrrrrr...London is FREEEEEEEZING and it's only mid October.

For autumn, these charity shop finds came at the right time. Could not believe my luck when I found these spiffy stiletto booties. Brand new Carvela (from Kurt Geiger). The soles are pristine and the leather is showroom supple.

Wanting lace up booties since they were featured in The Devil Wears Prada. Finally I have them for £9.

The spotted scarf is sheer enough to float through air. It was retrieved from a pile of scarves as I ran my fingers over all of them to detect for silk. It was an easy acquisition for £2. You can never have too many silk scarves!

And how to tell the difference between a silk or convincing polyester scarf? Silk feels light for it's weight and thickness. If the edges have a rolled hem, it's silk. If it's folded, it's polyester.

I'll be trawling for more silk scarves to add to the collection.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nails Inc 3 Week Manicure - Bio Sculpture Gel

After noticing that my colleague's perfectly lacquered nails stayed glossy and chip free for weeks, she told me her secret. She had a 3 week manicure.

Hers was from Nails Inc. Also known as bio sculpture gel nails. You might have noticed the little UV boxes in nail salons-that's what sets the gel to make them hard and strong.

Gel nails are still fake but not as damaging as acrylics. The gel is porous so nails can breathe. A little buffing is needed to prime the nail but that's the extent of the damage.

They're are thinner than acrylics so it looks natural. And the colour won't chip because the gel itself is the colour. (The choices may be limited.)

I wanted to give them a try so I got a loyalty card from Nails Inc for £150. It includes 4 x 3 week manicures including removal. A great deal since the manicure on it's own is £50 and it's £20 to take them taken off.

The manicurist buffed my nails and applied a coat of clear, 2 coats of white for the tips and a final coat of clear. I had to stick my hand under the UV lamp between each layer. It was like my hands were in a solarium. Perhaps I should have worn sunscreen first?

Clear nail polish was applied to seal the gel. The white will eventually discolour so it was recommended to apply a fresh top coat every week.

I did'nt bother with this and by the third week, it was definitely time to take them off. There were tiny cracks on the whites and regrowth was noticeable.

The manicurist wrapped my nails with acetone soaked cotton wool using foil strips. After five minutes she scraped the nail beds clean. After a little buffing and a top coat, my nails were back to normal.

I'm taking a break for a few weeks but the next time I'll go for a proper colour. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 11, 2010

MAC Jade Dragon Nail Lacquer - Limited Edition

I still can't get over how cheap MAC cosmetics are in the UK compared to Oz. With a pro-discount, it works out cheaper than some drugstore nail polishes.

Jade Dragon is from the MAC's Nail Trend F/W 2010 Collection. It's the classiest green I've seen. It's the green from Scarlett O'Hara's velvet curtain dress, faintly speckled with teal shimmer. Elegant enough to be worn at work I reakon. The creme colour is true to a dark green jade.

Colourwise and outer packaging (especially the rubberised top), MAC aces mainstream nail polishes.

The main downside is that it's a bit streaky. The less strokes applied per coat, the better. The shimmer drags the colour when you go over it repeatedly when wet.

The brush is not brilliant or maybe I was unlucky. There was a stray bristle which sticks out from the rest so I had to trim it.

The polish dries matte, like China White Flying Dragon. But once you apply a generous topcoat-WOW!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Selfridges The Shoe Galleries & Repetto Ballet Flats

On a rainy Saturday I visited Selfridges to check out it's newest installment of The Shoe Galleries. It was packed with frenzied shoe fans and I did'nt have the patience to wonder about. As soon as I spotted the Repetto concession, I zeroed in.

Since trying on a pair of Repetto flats in Paris, I never forgot the suppleness of the leather and the comfort. Weeks later, I was still oogling these shoes on the internet.

Fortunately I found the colour I wanted, Rose Amour (fuschia) in the lushest pebbled leather. The shoes were £165, pricier than France (same price but in Euros.) They are come in an elegant and collapsable box.

Like with London/French Sole, you need to go up a size. I'm normally a size UK 3 or 36 Eur and Repetto size 37 fits. Repetto's are lined with cotton and are of finer quality than London/French Sole. The joy of Repetto flats is the fit because the leather is lush and moldable to your feet.

There is a complimentary photo booth in the Galleries where you can take photos with your new purchases. It's an embarrassingly cheesy concept but I'm keeping my photo as a momento of my first Repettos!


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