Oh You Pretty Things...

This post comes with a little disclaimer which I feel I need to make clear before I begin writing/you begin reading... I am not a beauty expert. In fact, I'm a little lax when it comes to my beauty regime, "a little lax" being the polite term I'm using to essentially say I'm lazy. Truth be told, I spend the majority of my week make up free. I normally find it's reserved purely for weekends when I feel some
sort of effort should be made to look moderately socially acceptable. What I will say is, over the years I've tried and tested various products and techniques. I've found what works for me and I never stray far from it. Sure, every now and then I might mix up my lip shade, outfit dependent or my blusher, tan dependent but it's effectively always the same formula. For a while now I've had a lot of lovely comments on Instagram about my make up and I get asked quite a bit which mascara, lipstick, eyeliner etc I use. These kind of question is usually met by extremely useless answers such as "erm... It's the one with the fancy lid", or "it's the one with funny brush" and "it's the one that does the thing, you know, with the thingey"... Case in point, I'm not an expert. But ask and you shall receive, I've put together a sneaky peak of what my make up bag consists of. My never changing, trusty, every day (give or take) essentials I just can't live without... Possibly a little underwhelming for some of you, but for those who have asked about my make up over the past few months... You finally get a straight answer. Hooray and taaaa daaaaa!! 

Sophia x

1. Foundation- For every day I use Mac Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation, it's kinda light and it's not too matte so you can wear it striped back with just mascara for a natural (aka I can't be bothered) look. You can also however, build it up for days when your skin hates you and it will give ace coverage. My skin is so awkward, I have freckles on my nose which I love and would hate to hide away, but I suffer outbreaks of spots which I desperately want to cover and this foundation creates that happy medium for me. At night I use the holy grail of foundations, Armani Luminous Silk foundation. I'm pretty sure this stuff is produced by elves and has magical powers- it's aaaamazing. It sits so well on my skin and it doesn't budge or melt off as the night goes on, which is ideal for those of you who wear liquid eye liner as it helps your perfect cat eye flick stay put! I use a Mac 187 Duo Fibre Brush to apply both foundations; its light, "wispy" bristles mean it won't go on too thick from the get go. It's a great brush for blending your foundation in fully and controlling perfectly just how light/heavy you want it.

2. Eyes- Probably the area I get asked about most and it's the one make up routine I haven't changed in yonks. I use a pot liner from Mac called Fluidline in Black Track and to apply it I use a Mac 266 Slanted Eye Liner Brush; for me a pot and brush means you have a lot more control over what you're actually applying. Start off small and build up as your hand gets used to holding the brush. A slanted brush well seeeeeriously help create that flowing, fluid flick you're hankering after. I will try and get a eye liner flick tutorial out there for you all one day because I do get asked about them a hell of a lot, but for the time being please believe me when I say it's PRACTISE!!! I repeat, let your hand get used to the brush. A shaky grip will be your downfall. Mascara wise, I use Mac Upward Lash. The wand is teeny weeny so it applies naturally and clump free, whilst giving you those long spidery lashes we're all after. For night time I use Mac False Lashes Extreme Black (can you tell I invest a lot of faith in Mac?). Whilst having a lid which looks very similar to Darth Vader, this mascara is extremely trustworthy and does exactly what it says on the tin. If you're after sixties style eye make up like mine whilst wanting to stir clear of fake eyelashes, then this mascara will do the trick! Big and bold! 

3. Brows- Mac Veluxe Brow Liner in Soft Mute Beige comes with both the liner itself and a brush to groom any unruly hairs- it's soft so you can do lots of mini strokes to create natural looking brows rather then looking like 2 big scary slugs. Yuck. 

4. Lipstick/Blush- my blush is called Well Dressed; Bronzed tones just do not suit my skin colouring and makes me look like I'm a Victorian Chimney Sweeper. I just look grubby. Fresh, vibrant pinks not only make the boys wink apparently but also work worlds better for me (win/win, maybe), they give a much softer look. Well Dressed has a slight shimmer to it also so it acts as a great highlighter. I use it on the bridge of my nose and arch of my eye brows as well as cheeks, to create a little sun blushed look *does the kiss to hand/tips of fingers gesture as seen done by all French chef stereotypes*. Lastly my one true love, my lipstick. It's corally, pinky, sheer, loveliness and I couldn't live without it. It's Mac's See Sheer shade and it's an all round winner with every outfit. It's vivid yet sheer, so it's not too over baring for the day time. I tend to go really pale in winter and really tanned in summer, zero in between (I'm half Middleton, Manchester/half Naples, Italy... The struggle is real) and this kind of peachy, coral works really well with both skin tones. That said I kinda think lipstick shades are really subjective to personal taste rather then recommendation. I also think lipsticks are for having fun with and testing out new looks, don't be too serious with it. My perfect shade maybe your worst nightmare. Other shades I love include; Creme Cup (Baby Pink), Russian Red (Deep Red) and Shanghai Spice (Warm Peach).

Shop My Make Up Bag
Make Up Bag- Orla Kiely
Glass Jars- Laura Ashley
Night Foundation- Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk
Eye Liner- Mac Fluidline 
Eyeliner Brush- Mac 266
Blush Brush- Mac 133
Foundation- Mac 187

Dedicated Follower Of Vintage

It's no secret I'm a lover of vintage in a big way and over the years I've collected some pretty amazing pieces. Some of which I don't even dare to wear out of the house and instead chose to simply swoon over them hidden away in my wardrobe. Others I wear to death and vintage on the whole features pretty heavily in a lot of my Instagram outfits. I get asked regularly where pieces are from, how did I find them/how can you find them. The beauty of wearing vintage clothing you love, is no one else can have it. The down fall of loving vintage worn by others is... No one else can have it. I've been there myself, you fall in love with something your friend's wearing, you ask where it's from and they tell you it's vintage. It's heart breaking. And so to avoid further heartache I've decided to offer a helping hand to those of you pining over unrequited vintage; the baby doll dress that got away and the crochet that slipped through your fingers. Unfortunately I can't offer you the clothes off my own back and I'm a little busy to accompany all of you individually on vintage shopping trips (although that does sound kinda fun) BUT I can give you my best advise and a nudge in the right direction with some outfits I've worn recently. Does that sound good to you? Great!

1. First and foremost; Please, please, pretty please don't buy vintage for the sake of it being vintage. I'm going to be harsh but fair and it's only because I love you; I see this error all too much and it makes me face palm. There is a reason garish Eighties (often pastel) printed shirts have never made a come back. We thankfully realised the error of our ways and we all agreed it best to leave them in 1985 along with leg warmers and viscose bat-winged knitwear. Please have some restraint.
2. On the other hand, be open minded when shopping and have your wits about you. For me, vintage and alteration shops go hand in hand. Can it be shortened? Can it be taken out? Can it be taken in? Am I Grace Jones? No? Didn't think so, in which case can I remove the shoulder pads immediately please? You know, just the usual questions. The 1950's floral summer dress I'm wearing below I found in a vintage store on Brick Lane and it was in a sorry state. It was dirty, the zip was broken, the hemming on the skirt had come away, there was a hole on the side, the list of casualties was endless. But I saw the potential (and the fact it STILL had its original belt in tact), bought it for a fiver and brought the little beauty back to life. Like the Super vet of vintage fashion that I am.

Dress- Vintage
Straw Bag- Vintage
Shoes- Zara but see similar from ASOS here

3. Price can be an objective. There's a misconception that vintage = value. Not necessarily. For example; if you're wanting a good-as-new, Seventies Liberty print dress of your dreams or a practically unworn Sixties Mary Quant number, you need to be prepared to pay a pretty penny. The priceless is unfortunately pricey.
4. Know your stuff! I've found knowing certain retro brands has made the Internet search for vintage a whole lot easier and I now have favourite labels I look out for. Little tip inside a tip; your biggest source of knowledge is right under your nose, ask your mother!!! She was there, she wore it. I'm a Super vet and a detective apparently.
5. Have a wish list. Going in blind can sometimes be a little over whelming especially when you're vintage shopping on something like eBay and that's why it's good to have an specific idea of the pieces you actually want! Again, this makes searching a whole lot easier and you can quickly sieve out the rubbish, aka the eighties pastel patterned shirts. For example, for years I've been looking for the perfect straw bag and I still looking for it now, but the one featured below comes pretty close from Cow Vintage and I've worn it to death already. 
6. Last piece of advise and this one neatly accompanies your wishlist... Be prepared to trawl. Trawl trawl traaaawl!!! Accept you're not always going to find your dream vintage piece on every shopping occasion. There's A LOT out there to search through and sometimes it feels like a treasure hunt but it's always worth it in the end, I promise. Lusting after something, taking the time to really search and finally discovering it, is THE best feeling and you're allowed to give yourself a pat on the back, a gold star and a little squeal of excitement.

Good Luck and may you find the paisley blouse of your dreams.
Sophia x

Some Of My Favourite Vintage Stores

Blouse- Vintage
Bag- Vintage
Shoes- Ebay
Dungarees- Topshop

Gotta whole Y Not-ta Love

Firstly, huge apologies but this post is just a teeny weeny bit slow on the uptake considering I visited Y Not Festival over a week ago and I intended on writing this last Monday. In my defense, I did two festivals in one weekend and wrote a post in between (if you've not already read my post on Kendal Calling, please do so, that would be nice. Thanks!), that's pretty good going as far as I'm concerned. Plus it really has been a busy old week and time has just flown by, BUT better late than never! I've set time aside, I've edited photos, I've made myself a brew (tea/coffee for all you non-northerners) and I'm sat down, raring to go/type! Phew!

Y Not Festival, has a special place in my heart. It's adorable, like the little sister of all festivals. I went last year and I'll be honest, my expectations weren't all too high but I was pleasantly surprised to say the least and it fast became one of my favourites. It's a dinky little festival (albeit, growing up fast! It was a tad bigger this year. Uh err!) set in the middle of the Peak District, a stones through away from Bakewell. Be warned this means it's up in the beautiful hills of Derbyshire, which in turn means there's wind, lots and lots of wind... If you're anything like me, the coldest woman on earth, you'll need to pack layers. I wouldn't want you catching a chill now. The festival itself has a real home grown vibe to it, with a lot of local businesses setting up shop there and the decor being a little shabby chic, in the most endearing way. You WILL be sat on a hay bale at some point, amongst bunting and fairy lights, but that's all part of it's charm. The food there is on point, probably my favourite out of all festivals and although Y Not maybe smaller then it's older counterparts, it definitely stands on its own with some much to see and do (and eat, ofcourse). Completely worth a visit for new music lovers and festival first timers. 

What I wore: Right ok, don't know how useful this is going to be considering I dressed completely wrong! I wore Hunters wellies to behind with; it turned out to be dry and a floaty summer dress; it turned out to be windy (apologies to any Y Not goers who got a flash on my undies that weekend). Never the less, I opted for Superga plimsoles, quite possibly the comfiest shoe on earth and ideal for standing on your feet all day teamed with my numero ink dress of the summer by I Love Friday at ASOS. Breezy weather aside, this dress is ideal for those summer days when it's not quite as warm as you'd like. It's a thick linen material, in a floaty smock shape with long oversized sleeves and dreamy frill detailing. I've worn it to death. To round of my outfit I wore my cant-live-without vintage straw bag, you can shop a similar one HERE by Pimkie at ASOS.

What I ate/drank: Banoffee waffles for breakfast, cider and katsu chicken. Please never referred to me for healthy eating or clean living advise.

What I did/who I saw: I complained about being cold a lot and I watched the end of Vant absolutely smashing it on the main stage, The Magic Gang and dun dun duuuuun, Blossoms. (I sadly however missed Vryll Society due to clashing times but if I could have, I would have... Ya know FYI).

Sophia x

Shop My Outfit
Shoes- Superga
Bag- Vintage but see similar from Pimkie
Sunglasses- Triwa