30 May 2014

Beauty | Tom Ford 'Cherry Lush'

As you may know I'm currently half way through a professional qualification at work and as a reward for passing my first set of exams I decided to treat myself to a Tom Ford lipstick I'd been lusting after for months.

I've been looking for a shade like this for such a long time. It's the ultimate cherry red: bright whilst still being subtle (as subtle as red lipstick can be), deep but not dark and fresh whilst still being classic.

The formula of the Tom Ford lipsticks truly is something to behold. Creamy and moisturising with intense pigment and almost unbeatable staying power, they are worth every single penny which is good because they cost a grand total of 3600 of them... yes, that's right £36 for a lipstick. Well, I did say it was a treat...

Have you tried Tom Ford lipsticks? Which colour is your favourite?

Vicky x


28 May 2014

Fashion | All Black Everything

I absolutely loved this outfit, it was so me just so unlike me all at the same time. Whilst I'm often known for my penchant for black clothes, this is quite possibly the only time I've ever worn a hat outside of the races!

You'd never guess this was a May outfit, it doesn't look summery in the slightest but neither did the weather! I wore it shopping as I wanted something comfortable, classic and warm enough to travel in but not too warm to wear inside - is that too much to ask for? Usually, yes.

Hat - New Look
Jacket - Zara
Vest - New Look
Jeans - Topshop
Wedge trainers - New Look
Bag - eBay

I've really gotten into eBay lately and I've found some fantastic items, if you'd be interested in seeing them let me know because I'm more than happy to show them off! This bag is probably my favourite non-dress related purchase. It's inspired by the Mulberry Willow and I decided to road test it to see if the style of the Willow would suit me - it would be a huge investment and I'm still not sure whether it's a novelty bag or one that will really be timeless.

I popped my Wonderland Wigs 3/4 Wig* in with a hat to disguise my terrible roots and hit the shops. I've got to say, I'm now fully converted to wearing large floppy hats. I've had this one for absolute years but I've never worn it before, now I'm grumpy that the weather is nice because I don't want to take it off!

What's your go-to shopping outfit?

Vicky x


26 May 2014

Lifestyle | Life, Blogging and Balance

source: instagram 

As you may have noticed, it's been nearly a month since I last blogged. If you follow me on Twitter you'll see that I recently found myself in hospital after a panic attack. Whilst I won't divulge too much on this topic, a) because it's personal and b) I really don't want to, what I will say is that the last few weeks had really knocked me for six but that finally I feel like I'm back to myself which is the most important thing.

Blogging really fell by the wayside for me over the last while, I found that I had very little desire to sit at the laptop and try to come up with a post, something that usually comes so naturally to me and rather than sit down and write something false and contrived I decided not to write anything at all and I was surprised at how little this bothered me, another sign that I wasn't myself. 

Today is the first time I've actually sat down and opened my laptop for something other than a Homeland marathon in well over a month and it felt nice to take a break but the better I feel the more I miss my blog and everything it entails from the sense of community to the joy of discussing something I really do love. 

I now have so many things to blog about that this is where the balance needs to be struck as I don't want to binge blog and then go for weeks with nothing. I still have exams at work and I'm still focusing a lot on myself, my health and of course my 10k which has crept up on me quicker than I care to think about.

To touch very briefly on the panic attack subject, I am probably the last person I'd expect to have had a panic attack but I did and it was awful. If anybody feels like they're struggling then don't suffer in silence, your pride is worth nothing compared to your health. 

Vicky x

9 May 2014

Restaurant Review | Jackson + Rye

Sometimes you just need comfort food. The reassuring internal hug of something fried that says "Hey! It's not so bad, here have some spicy coleslaw and forget all about tripping up the escalators this morning/laddering your tights before a big meeting/accidentally calling your boss 'dad'' and a few weeks ago that's exactly what I needed so I trotted off to Soho to locate Jackson + Rye.

One of the best things about Central London at lunchtime is that it's so busy, people from a variety of industries pour onto the streets and in to cafes, restaurants and let's be honest, bars, many of whom are alone. Dining alone is perfectly acceptable and when you spend eight hours a day with the same people, in the same room it's also a Godsend. One of the worst things about Central London at lunchtime is, you guessed it, it's always busy! Getting a table or even a takeaway at some of London's finest new fast food restaurants almost feels like an impossible task: factor in hungry local workers with an infinite number of tourists and you try persuading the waitress that yes, you really do need that booth that you could cram six people into, you have magazines to read after all... Thankfully Jackson + Rye like so many others has seating and service at the bar which is exactly where I perched myself.

Having scoured the menu prior to setting off I knew I wanted the buttermilk fried chicken, served with spicy coleslaw, and a side of fries. You can't see it very well but under those two perfectly cooked, deliciously coated pieces of fried chicken lies a pile of spicy coleslaw that quite frankly, is a game changer. 

The food was fantastic, really well cooked and full of flavour, the service was also spot on; attentive enough but with room to breathe. It's not the cheapest of lunches, even by Central London standards but it was worth it. I took a slow walk back to the office - don't underestimate the filling affect of this meal, it looks pretty small but it packed a filling punch.

I'll definitely be going back there of an evening with the girls to try something else and sample the wine and cocktail menu!

Have you been to Jackson + Rye?

Vicky x


7 May 2014

Fashion | WIWTW: Dotti Meets Dorothy

A few weeks ago the sun finally put his hat on and made an appearance and I couldn't wait to get my legs out in a pretty skirt and enjoy the first bit of warmth in the UK this year. I posted this picture on Instagram (I've now set up a blog specific one - beautyblogbrunette so please follow) and it was really popular so I thought I'd share with you all too in my first WIWTW (What I Wore to Work).

Skirt - Dotti
Shirt - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - New Look

I'd had visions of wearing this skirt with a plain white camisole but temperatures hadn't risen that much so I paired it with this shirt from Dorothy Perkins instead and I really like the contrast between the soft colours and full shape of the skirt and the crisp white and black of the shirt.

It can be tough finding summer clothes that are also work appropriate, particularly in an office environment but I think this is ideal. A few people have asked what sort of things I wear to work and they're mainly this but if you would like to see a week in work outfits, please let me know.

What do you wear to work in the summer?

Vicky x

4 May 2014

Beauty | MAC Tag

MAC remain one of my go-to brands for both myself and my professional kit. Whilst I like to mix it up and have a wide variety of brands to choose from, I know I can rely on MAC and like to always have it to hand.

I wasn't tagged by anybody specific for this and I won't be tagging anybody but if you give this a go leave your link below because I'd like to see your answers/

image: Google

1. How long have you been using MAC?
I've used MAC for years now, I picked up my first ever MAC item in New York in 2007, it was a lipgloss in the shade Jellybabe. It's since been discontinued but I have a few stored away!

2. What was your first MAC purchase?
Oops, looks like I jumped the gun there with question 1. It was a lipgloss in the shade Jellybabe.

3. What is your favourite MAC product?
It's between Face and Body foundation and Petticoat Mineralise Skin Finish which is hands down one of the best cheek products ever created. 

4. What is your least favourite MAC product?
Aside from Face and Body I'm not a huge fan of the foundations.

5. Do you have a pro card?
Yes and I worked very hard for it.

6. What is your MAC foundation shade?
N3 in Face and Body.

7. What is your favourite MAC foundation?
Face and Body.

8. What is your favourite MAC eyeshadow?
Probably Vanilla as it's a great base colour.

9. What is your favourite MAC lipstick?
This is so tough, I love so many different shades. I'm going to say Impassioned for a bright and Modesty for a neutral.

10. What is your favourite MAC lipgloss?
Boy Bait, it's a gorgeous nude.

11. What is your favourite MAC eyeliner?
Teddy pencil smudged out.

12. What is your favourite MAC brush?
The 150 powder brush without a shadow of a doubt. It's my every day blusher brush and I would never be without it.

13. What is your favourite MAC nail lacquer?
Blue India, it came out years ago but remains a firm favourite. It's such a unique colour, I've never seen another nail polish the same shade. 

14. What is your favourite MAC Pro product?
This is too tough, I honestly can't pick just one.

15. What has been your favourite MAC collection to date?
I tend not to follow the collections so I can't say.

16. Which MAC collection have you found disappointing?
As above, I don't follow them.

17. What product(s) do you think MAC are missing?
I think they have pretty much all bases covered, especially in the Pro stores. If anything I think they could improve their foundations, mascaras and skin care. 

Comment on the MAC products below - have you used them and what do you think of them?

Prep + Prime Skin
I've used it and I'm not a huge fan personally, it's too glittery for me. My nan tried some once and she now swears by it and it doesn't look glittery on her at all but it isn't to my taste.

Studio Sculpt Foundation
I have used this and I like it for photoshoots but not on myself. I find the coverage too heavy, it reacts badly to my skin and it smells vile.

Face and Body Foundation
The only MAC foundation I truly like. A staple in my kit and one of my favourite foundations for myself. I love how versatile it is.

Mineralise Satin Finish Foundation
I've never tried this. I've seen it a few times and heard a lot about it but it's not something I'm keen to try.

Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
I use this and I love it. I apply it over a foundation for a night out for a really flawless finish.

Sculpting Powder
Fantastic products, really natural shades to create a natural, buildable contour.

Shaping Powder
Perfectly compliments the Sculpting Powders. I'm a fan.

Pressed Blot Powder
Love this product, it's photographs really well and it's great for every day.

Mineralise Skin Finish
I love these, Petticoat is my all time favourite but sadly it was Limited Edition and sadly they haven't brought it back for ages.

Bronzing Powder
I used this when I was training but I've never gone out and bought it. I wasn't blown away by it, I think there are better products out there.

Powder Blush
I have a few blush palettes and I do love them. They're super pigmented and blendable.

Cream Colour Base
I have a few and I like them but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them. There are other products out there that are just  as good if not better.

Studio Finish Concealer
I've used it but I'm not a huge fan.

I have loads of MAC lipsticks and I do like them. I know a lot of people think they're too expensive now but they're still in the middle of high street and high end.

I've used them all in a range of shades and I like them but they're not my favourites.

Lip Pencil
I love the MAC Lip Pencils. Beet is one of my favourites, it's so versatile.

Solar Bits(?)
I've never used these.

Nail Lacquer
I really like them actually, they're great quality.

I never really liked these.

I have quite a few of these in my kit but I prefer the Illamasqua ones.

Eye Kohl
Used, not a fan.

I have a few but they dry out SO quickly. Don't bother with them.

False Lashes
I've loads of these hanging around but I don't actually rate them! There are so many brands out there that make better lashes.

Pro Lash/Zoom Lash/Dazzle Lash/Plush Lash
Used all of the above and don't like any. I'm not a fan of MAC mascara at all.

Leave your link below if you try this, I'd love to read your answers and I hope mine and my insight has helped you if you're unsure about a certain purchase.

Vicky x

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