Friday, 30 December 2011

christmas haul

I've enjoyed having a nosy at other bloggers' Christmas presents so thought I'd share mine with you. I received some really lovely gifts this year, I felt so spoilt to the point of feeling guilty of having so much stuff!

- Books: Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, Etcetera (a really lovely interior design book), Shopping for Vintage, Style Diaries
- Beauty: Soap & Glory Big Splendour, Clinique 3-Step Skincare, Sanctuary Spa trio, Urban Decay Volume IV, Bobbi Brown 20th Anniversary Lip Palette, Models Own Nail Art Pen, Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen, Original Source Vanilla and Cocoa Bubble Bath, Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector, Dove Fresh Pink Pampering Set
- Food & Drink: Disaronno, Sourz Raspberry, Green & Black's White Chocolate, Lindt bear, Hotel Chocolat
- Misc.: Topshop Alba boots, H&M knickers, Urban Outfitters christmas socks, incense holder, incense, Glade With Love candle, candle holder, purse, John Lewis towel set, Homedics Splash waterproof mini massager

Can't wait to review my beauty products and my Alba boots will definitely be featuring in future outfit posts.

I tested out my Models Own Nail Art Pen today:

I used Nails Inc in Basil Street as my base colour, and went for an accent nail with black lace design. I think nude underlay and black lace is such a gorgeous combination - sexy but elegant. I'm quite happy with the outcome although I think my pen's dodgey as polish kept on oozing out the tip even when I wasn't squeezing the pen and it was upright. Apparently this isn't an uncommon problem with the Models Own pens so if it persists I'm going to have to exchange it. The line was thicker than I would have liked it to be but I blame this on the dodgey pen! And I was going to do all my nails but realised I wouldn't be able to do my right hand as neatly as my left so kept it to an accent nail. I think I'll try it again when my pen's working properly, and I'd love to try this design using real lace or lace nail transfers.

Have a lovely new year everyone!

Monday, 26 December 2011

happy christmas!

Or rather, happy boxing day! No post yesterday as I needed a day off from everything to prepare myself for working today. Two things I can't get my head around: people queueing/waiting outside shops for them to open, and the Next sale which starts at 6 a.m. What is so incredible in Next that people will get up before the crack of dawn for, the day after Christmas?!
I had such a lovely day yesterday, it was so nice to just relax and eat non-stop and not feel remotely guilty about it. I got some amazing presents too, including some great books, skincare and cosmetics, which I'll be reviewing/sharing over the next few posts.

Precious Christmas, photographed by Giampaolo Sgura for Vogue Gioiello December 2010, fashion edited by Giovanna Battaglia via fashiongonerogue

Obviously yesterday I looked exactly like Cato Van Ee in the above photos... I love the styling - glamorous, cosy, playful - and check out that red ribbon neck bow, there's no excuse not to recycle your Christmas wrapping now!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

fluffy crocodile

Wearing my most recent purchase in the above photo, black 'hairy lurex jumper' from New Look, £24.99. It's so soft and fluffy! I forgot to get a proper outfit photo so apologies for the poor quality webcam photo, but I felt like I was having a good hair day so wanted to document it haha.

And these are my new nails, created with Barry M Croc Nail Effects. I like this effect much better than the crackle effect, although I don't think it's quite 'crocodile'. I applied Rimmel Lycra Pro in Golden Totem and when it was touch-dry, I layered the black croc polish on top. I think it works by the underlayer shrinking as it dries, causing the top layer to contract and therefore creating the effect. I have no idea how it creates a 'croc' rather than 'crackle' effect though, maybe a thinner consistency? I think it works well with a metallic base as the cracks really show up. Next time, I will apply a thicker underlayer for bigger cracks to make it more noticeable.

Don't forget to enter my Benefit giveaway if you haven't already, details of how to enter are here. Five more people to win!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

benefit press event cont. and giveaway!

As I've been sent some more photos from the Benefit Bloggers' Press Event, I thought I'd share them with you.

Chatting blogs and beauty.

Looking nervously at the brow wax and tint equipment!

Feeling calmer as Dee explained the procedure and took me through a form.

Having Brow Zings applied to finish off the look.

Ta-da! Brows groomed to perfection.

Happy with my Christmas set!

You can read my full post about the event here.

Now for my BENEFIT GIVEAWAY! I have TEN sets of limited edition 'Pretty Notes' to give away, which are pretty little booklets with Benefit post-its inside. Just so your uni work is less mundane and more gorgeous and girly. You can't buy these and they would make a great stocking filler. What you need to do to win is write on the Fabric Religion facebook page what Benefit product I had applied to my eyebrows to finish off the look. The first ten people to post the correct answer win! I'll post them out as soon as I have ten winners so you'll get them in time for Christmas.

UK entrants only please!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

winter blooms

Today, I brightened up my metallic H&M jumper using my floral Topshop leggings that I picked up in the sale a couple of years ago. The jumper has multicoloured threads sewn in, which are the same kinds of hues as the leggings. I paired this look with black Hunter wellington boots, my New Look trenchcoat and Topshop doctors bag. (I don't know what's going on with my hand in the above picture, I think I was trying to show my dad how to work the camera on my phone)
I love it when an old item comes into fashion again, or is translated in a new way; it makes my compulsive hoarding seem somewhat justified!

Winter florals seen on the Autumn / Winter 2011 catwalks:

Jonathan Saunders, Jil Sander

Givenchy, Erdem

Kenzo, Mary Katrantzou


images from GoRunway via

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas ombre nails

I posted about my new Barry M Red Glitter Nail Paint last week, mentioning that it chipped quite easily. Well, after a few days, it had chipped a bit more so I saw the perfect opportunity to create Christmas ombre nails!

I transformed them from this:

To this (using Barry M Nail Paint in Green Glitter):

As the varnish is made up of glitter, I could have easily repaired the chips using the original varnish and it would have been barely noticable, but the texture is perfect for blending two colours together. I think this design would be really nice using two shades of the same glitter colour for a more subtle effect.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Benefit Bloggers' Press Event

Yesterday, I traveled to Norwich for Benefit's Bloggers' Press Event. Benefit already has 12 independent boutiques, but the Debenhams Norwich boutique is their world-first boutique within a department store. The boutique is accessible through Debenhams, as well as through its own doors off Brigg Street. It comprises a large make-up counter, Benefit's trademark Brow Bar and three private treatment rooms: for waxing, spray tanning and makeup masterclasses.

The decor is gorgeous, with floral and candy stripe wallpaper, antique style picture frames, and quirky details like round windows and bespoke Benefit perspex armchairs.

I love the convenience and informality of the boutique - 'informality' in the sense that if you were visiting for your first ever bikini wax, the location and size of the boutique says "it's no biggy", while the brand's credibility and sugar pink decor says "relax and prepare to be pampered". The boutique recommends booking appointments but has slots for walk-in customers - perfect for a spontaneous pamper.

The Smooth Sally waxing room:

Bespoke Benefit towels add to the treat.

I want one of those chairs so much!

The Bronze Betty tanning room:

A full body spray tan is very reasonably priced at £20, considering Fake Bake is used.

The Masterclass room:
This room is where beauty school sessions are hosted. It would be amazing for hen or birthday parties, or just as an excuse to get all your girlfriends together!

Jasmine and Natalie provided us with a beautiful feast of champagne, orange juice and amazing canap├ęs including figs wrapped in parma ham, pesto and roasted vegetable bruschettas and parmesan and poppyseed lollipops, catered by Expresso, followed by cookies from Clares Cupcakes London.

The Brow Bar is situated outside the Masterclass room. I had a brow wax and tint, £18, which I am so so pleased with. I've never had my eyebrows done before so I was a bit nervous but I really had nothing to worry about. Dee explained the process and products throughout, and afterwards she used Boi-ing, to disguise the redness, and Brow Zings to define my brows.

I had a fabulous time chatting to the other bloggers and the hosts, Jasmine (Digital Manager) and Natalie (Area Manager), about vintage, technology, blogging and beauty, and drinking champagne at lunchtime! I also learnt some really interesting things (Benetint was originally used to darken the nipples of exotic dancers!). I would like to say a massive thank you to Jasmine and Natalie for their hospitality and my goodies which included the limited edition Christmas gift set 'I'm glam, therefore I am' - I can't wait to use my Benefit products and will review them in a future post, as well as doing my Benefit giveaway in the next few days.

read more about the boutique here

Friday, 9 December 2011

London: Day 5

The title to this post is a little bit of a lie as I spent most of the day in Norwich, and on trains. The reason for this being that I was invited to the world's first in-store Benefit Boutique at Norwich Debenhams. I would really love to share my day with you now but as I'm traveling back to Devon tomorrow for Christmas, I really need to pack and get an early night. So on that note, I'm afraid I will have to leave you in suspense, but prepare for a juicy post tomorrow!

I wore:

Horseshoe-print playsuit - Urban Outfitters
Cream jumper - New Look
Coat - H&M
Faux fur stole - H&M
Tights - Marks & Spencers
Patent brogues - New Look
Doctors bag - Topshop

I made a Facebook page today for my blog so please 'like' it if you enjoy reading my blog!/pages/Fabric-Religion/287286344641505
Also, if you didn't know I have Twitter, I am @laraspiller

Thursday, 8 December 2011

London: Day 4

Today, Chris and I went to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, which was amazing. If I wasn't in the Christmas spirit before, I certainly am now. Mulled wine, hog roast, 'christmas dinner in a bap', Angel Market... it's so nice just to wander around and look at the craft stalls or go on a ride. We went on the big wheel which I found pretty scary but it had an amazing view, and we went to see Zippo's Cirque Extreme - so so good and well worth the money.

I wore:
Cream jumper dress - F&F at Tesco
Belt - Primark
Leopard faux fur coat - River Island
Tights - Marks & Spencers
Patent brogues - New Look
Leather bag - Topshop

I also tried out my new Barry M Nail Paint in Red Glitter which is lovely and festive, this picture doesn't do it justice as it's really sparkly in the light. I did find it quite difficult to apply though compared to the other Nail Paints, I had to dip the brush back into the pot for each nail - maybe because it's more glitter than varnish it dries quicker? I had to apply about two thick coats, and needed to make sure they were even to avoid gaps in the glitter. It has also chipped slightly at the ends even though I only applied it today which is a bit disappointing, but on the plus side, touch ups will be easy as you won't be able to notice because of the texture. Overall, I love the effect but it isn't something I'd use if I was in a rush.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

London: Day 3

Today I met up with Steff for the last catch-up of 2011. We went to the Design Postgraduate Show at London College of Communication, which is packed full of innovative work by MA Graphic Design, MA Graphic Branding & Identity and Visual Communication students, amongst others, then headed to my favourite eatery Wasabi.

I wore:
White lace playsuit - Urban Outfitters
Belt - Primark
Leopard faux fur coat - River Island
Tights - Marks & Spencers
Patent brogues - New Look
Doctors bag - Topshop

After the show, we headed to Oxford Street for Topshopping (during which Steff made a slightly inappropriate, slightly too loud comment about a man directly in front of us, who we then realised was Sir Philip Green... oops). I finally found the Barry M Nail Paint in Green Glitter which I posted about yesterday, so I picked one up, as well as Red Glitter and the new Croc Nail Effects in Black - I'll post some pictures when I've tried them out, maybe a tacky festive red and green glitter design?!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

London: Day 1 and 2

I've finally finished what has been a very busy and stressful term, so I came to London on Sunday evening to spend a few days with Chris before I return to Devon to spend Christmas with my family. I've got loads to blog about and lots of free time now so stay tuned!
Day 1: Yesterday Chris and I went to Oxford Street for some Christmas shopping which was very productive and surprisingly not stressful, probably because we went between 4-9pm, the best time to go in my opinion, as it's not heaving and the Christmas lights look wonderful. We spent ages in Selfridges, marveling at the Spymaster and Muji sections.

I wore:

Trenchcoat - New Look
Sparkly jumper - H&M
Jeggings - Topshop
Aviator wedge boots - New Look
Doctors bag - Topshop

The boots are one of my most recent purchases and I think they're so perfect for winter with their wedge heels, nice thick grippy soles and warming sheepskin.

New Look, £27.99

I also bought the jumper fairly recently and I wear it about once a week as it's so easy to wear - with leggings, jeggings, jeans, shorts and tights, under a coat, over a shirt... and it's a nice muted gold brown with multicoloured flecks and metallic thread for seasonal sparkle.

Day 2: I only ventured out of the house for about an hour to pick up some bits and bobs and go in search for Barry M's Green Glitter Nail Paint - it's one of those things where the more I can't find it, the more I want it! I've also just seen Barry M's released a new crackle varnish, Croc Nail Effects, which I'll have to buy when I see it - nail art cheats, yes please.

Barry M Nail Paint in Green Glitter, £2.99

Today I wore:

Grey long-sleeved top - H&M
Leopard faux fur coat - River Island
Jamie skinny jeans - Topshop
Suede brogues - New Look
Doctors bag - Topshop

Saturday, 3 December 2011

earring lust

I spotted these on Asos a few months ago and still can't help but look at them every few weeks! By Nicole Richie's jewellery line, House of Harlow 1960, these earrings are 14ct gold plated with mini stone encrusted triangle and bullet back fastening. I love their tribal and art deco elements.

House of Harlow 1960, £55

Friday, 18 November 2011

Boots Christmas Makeover Evening

Last night Andrea, Hannah and I went to a Christmas makeover evening hosted by Boots in Worthing. On arrival we received a great goodie bag of samples, the contents of which are below:

Clarins towel hair wrap
Lancome Renergie Lift Volumetry x 2
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion (one bottle, one tube)
Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover Lotion
Clarins Eau des Jardins
Clinique palette of Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Pink Slate and Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Iced Lotus, with Clinique brushes
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara
Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 in Air Kiss

Andrea had her makeup done by Estee Lauder, and Benefit madeover Hannah and I. I was really happy with the look created on me as it was natural and subtle. Two Benefit products I'm now craving are Watt's Up, a new champagne-coloured liquid highlighter which gives a radiant glow and dewy complexion, and Some Kind-a Gorgeous, an oil-free cream-to-powder foundation that blends incredibly easily and matches to your natural skin tone.