MOVE TO MIINTO

You may have read my last post about online retailer Miinto, and this week I joined Miinto.co.uk as their new Marketing Assistant. I will be writing for Miinto’s blog and social media channels, as well as working on a range of PR and marketing campaigns. Therefore I might not have the time to update this blog as much as I would like to anymore, but to keep up to date with my work please visit Miinto.co.uk.

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MOVE ASIDE ASOS – MIINTO IS IN TOWN

Following incredible success across Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United States, online retail company Miinto has finally hit the UK and Ireland. Launching in April/ May of this year, Miinto.co.uk and Miinto.ie, will build on the company’s mission to bring an extensive range of womenswear, menswear, kidswear, sportswear and accessories, all under one fashion e-roof.

However, what makes Miinto particularly special is its partnership with independent boutiques, working as an online portal for boutiques to showcase their stock online. Brands include Vivienne Westwood, Ralph Lauren, American Vintage, Gant and Superdry, as well as a vast array of smaller labels, all sourced directly from boutiques all over the UK and Ireland. This ingenious idea allows fashion lovers to shop 24/7 from boutiques they never knew existed, or would normally be unable to access.

If you didn’t think the e-commerce world could get anymore exciting, here comes Miinto throwing a spanner into the online shopping experience. I believe Miinto can do for boutiques, what Net-A-Porter did for designer, and ASOS did for e-fashion, and I cannot wait to see how the company grows in the next few years.

Here are a few of my top Miinto picks:

Miinto.co.uk (for shoppers in the UK and Channel Islands):

Antik Batik Opyla Silk Mix Print Tee £150

Perfect for the festival season, simply pair this tie-dye inspired tee with some frayed denim shorts, over the knee socks and wellies.

Fonty by Ted Baker £109

The ideal day-to-night dress, wear with a floppy fedora and loafers for a shopping trip, then slip into some classic courts and team with an oversized clutch for a night on the town.

Hale Bob Sequin Dress £320

Nothing can beat a bit of sparkle, and this all over sequin number is a wardrobe classic. For an ultra-glam look just add your favourite sling-backs and some bright red lippy.

Muubaa Turna Laser Leather Jacket £399

I cannot live without my leather jacket, and for those of you who want a modern update on a classic biker this Muubaa piece might be right up your street. The laser cutout detailing also reminds me of the Giles S/S12 catwalk, making it bang on trend too.

Acne Contrast Pistol Boot £370

Every wardrobe needs a pair of Chelsea boots, and this Acne pair will see you throughout the year. Team with black skinnies in the winter, or with a tea dress in the summer for an edgier look.

Miinto.ie (for shoppers in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland):

Aztec Disc Earrings by People Tree 15,00 EUR

I am a big fan of gold jewellery, and these Aztec discs by People Tree are no exception. Plus, they are made of recycled brass so they are environmentally friendly too.

Nautical Dress from Frime 65,00 EUR

Nautical prints come around year after year, so what better to way to invest in one than a timeless cute mini? Just add some retro sunnies, gladiators and a basket to complete the look.

Missey Black Chiffon Skirt 35,00 EUR

The midi-maxi trend is here to stay, and this Missey piece ticks all the boxes. Wear with a cotton tee, wedges and chunky jewellery for a relaxed but chic vibe.

Barbour National Trial Wax Jacket 249,00 EUR

Our on-going wet weather means we will always need a stylish yet sensible coat on tap, and Barbour always does it best.

Blush from Finsk 400,00 EUR

One of Julia Lundsten’s signature wedges, and the perfect IT shoe. Pair with jeans and a boyfriend jumper for a casual look, or with a simple LBD in the evening and let the shoes do all the talking.

For more information please visit Miinto.co.uk and Miinto.ie.

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CELEBRATE THE JUBILEE WITH STYLE

The year 2011/ 2012 is definitely one to make us proud to be British, with the Royal Wedding, Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, and what better way to kick-start the Jubilee weekend than a TOPSHOP/ Meadham Kirchhoff collaboration? From 5pm today TOPSHOP Oxford Circus will be presenting the Meadham Kirchhoff Fashion Spectacular. You will be able to pick-up sweet treats such as candy floss, pink glitter popcorn and rainbow millions, get painted up in Meadham inspired Jubilee face art, and for those of you who want to indulge in some payday retail therapy too, you will receive a Jubilee paper crown for every £60 you spend.

However don’t worry if you are unable to make it down to the flagship, as TOPSHOP.com will also be streaming the event live at MEADHAM KIRCHHOFF FASHION SPECTACULAR

Have a nice Jubilee weekend, and try not to eat too many scones!

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FAKE IT DON’T BAKE IT

Fake-tan, or self-tan it is often referred to nowadays, has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Long gone are the days of radioactive orange, streaks, smudges and the overpowering biscuit scent.

Thank you to these recent developments in self-tan, I was finally seduced and treated myself to my very first spray tan yesterday. I am naturally very fair – an English rose, so unless I go on holiday for at least a month it would be wishful to think I will go any darker than a simple sun-kissed glow. Obviously living in England, where our winter far surpasses our days of sunshine (current heat wave aside), and working indoors doesn’t help my milky complexion either.

It wasn’t always liked this though, as a child I would tan like an apple browns. Then as soon as I hit my teens my skin decided it didn’t want to tan anymore, and my days of deep golden glows were replaced with heat rashes and lobster legs – I know, very attractive.

Therefore as I dusted off my shorts and summer dresses this week, I decided enough was enough. Now, I am relatively happy in my body, so when I start to pick outfits to cover up my pasty legs (when I actually like my legs), something is wrong. Plus, I am donning a little backless white number in three weeks time for my 23rd and I do not want to look like a complete milk bottle – all in all the perfect time to get initiated with self-tan.

I was definitely spoilt for choice when I came to pick my tan, from the breakthrough St Tropez, ever-popular Fake Bake, or new favourite Sienna X. In the end I opted for Sienna X because it was on offer at my local salon, however its huge celebrity following also swayed me, with the likes of Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Harry Judd, and the rest of the Strictly Come Dancing crew as fans.

The first 12 hours were the best – I was finally a gorgeous deep brown, but after the 8 hour setting period wash off I turned a creamy caramel tone. Both shades looked equally as natural though, and most importantly natural to my skin tone. What I love the most about Sienna X is their grade system, you can choose between an 8 and 16 depending on how dark you want to go – I decided on a grade 8 as a beginner, and all tans fade naturally between 5 and 7 days. Although the darker you go more exfoliation and scrubbing would be needed to banish the stubborn leftover patches.

I have only used gradual tans in the past, but most of these have left unnatural yellow blotches, so kudos to Sienna X for converting me. I can firmly say I will be joining the ranks of self-tanning, starting off with occasion tanning and then if I am brave enough I might even give a home tan a try one day. Self-tanning is safe, and if it makes you feel good, then why not? We all know of the dangers of the sun and sunbeds, and whilst the sun can be good for you if you stay protected and take it in moderation (the sun gives out vitamin D), sunbeds are one area of tanning I will never be trying out.

I have always been one to protect and perfect my skin, remember prevention is always better than cure, and what you do with your skin now WILL affect you in the future. Don’t want wrinkles or damaged skin? Then don’t cook yourself; because you wouldn’t put your hand freely on a BBQ would you?

These developments in self-tan are likely to progress even more so in the coming years, and I am really excited to see where the market will go. Already self-tanning has become a huge part of both women AND men’s beauty regimes, so why should it be considered any different to make-up; it is in a nutshell make-up for your body? That is to say I still think we should steer clear of the umpa lumpa look, I am all for enhancing natural beauty, but orange is just not natural.

For more information please visit Sienna X

Five helpful tips when self-tanning:

1)   Exfoliate and de-hair 24 hours before tanning.

2)   Self-tan 24 to 48 hours before a special event to make sure your guide colour has fully washed off.

3)   All tans vary, but leave 8 hours for a Sienna X tan to develop before putting on light or tight clothing.

4)   Again during the development period avoid water and perspiration – it can cause drip marks down your tan.

5)   Moisturise daily to prolong the life of your tan and to keep skin hydrated.

Don’t want to self-tan, but don’t want to cook either?

Parasol Sun Care: Perfect for those who suffer from sensitive skin – a one day application lotion, which protects the skin from sunburn and prickly heat. This product saved my life last year on holiday, I didn’t burn or suffer from a heat rash once, and I still came home with a golden glow.

Elemis Tan Accelerator: Prepare the body for sun exposure by stimulating its natural melanin production prior to your holiday. This is great for sun sensitive skin too, or for those of you who just want a little helping hand to prolong your tan. I haven’t used this as of yet, but have read amazing reviews; I cannot wait to try it next time I go away.

Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil: You may have read my review on this oil a couple of years ago, simply apply over the top of your usual sunscreen to aid tanning. Oil isn’t the safest way to tan, but this Hawaiian oil has an added SPF for extra skin protection.

Closet Charms is also supporting Fake Bake’s Save Your Skin Campaign. 

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WHITE HEAT

As the sun starts to peek out from the clouds, and temperature forecasts hit the twenties this week, my inspiration for today is all things WHITE. High summer collections have also begun to hit the shops, and dreams of sun drenched deserts, scorching sands and warm palm breezes have filled up my Sunday afternoon. From crisp clean cuts, sharp and structured tailoring, to wind-swept chiffons, lace and linens, I have been transported to the Riviera, Grecian Coast and heart of Mexico…

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Versace SS12

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Chanel SS12

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Mango lookbook Summer 2012 with Anna Selezneva

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Monsoon SS12 lookbook

Other inspiration:

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SUNSHINE IN A BOTTLE

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If you could capture sunshine in a bottle, then Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Capri would be the result. The newest of Lauder’s Bronze Goddess collection, aptly named after the beautiful Italian isle, will brighten up any gloomy day that our British climate throws at us. With top notes of cassis, mandarin and lemon leaves, middle notes of jasmine and peony, and base notes of vanilla, patchouli and musk, it simply is paradise in one spray.

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Estée Lauder isn’t usually the first brand I would go to for a new fragrance, as I often stick to perfumes attached to labels such as Armani, Dior and Gucci, but there was something especially alluring about Capri. Whether it was the gorgeous bronzed model, or stunning two-tone bottle, which I believe imitates the sand and sea of the beach, I was hooked. The exotic scent also sparked memories of summers gone by, with hints of salt, coconut and even suncream tingling at my senses. Plus, the fragrance is limited edition so I just HAD to pick one up before it was too late. Since reading the excellent reviews of other Estée Lauder fragrances since my purchase, I will probably be investing in a lot more of their products in the future as well.

The rest of the Capri collection includes a shimmering make-up palette of gold, brown, turquoise and white, two eye crayons, an illuminating powder, lip gloss, nail lacquer and obviously a liquid bronzer. So, if the skinscent doesn’t quite grab your fancy, then I am sure another piece would add a little taster of Capri to your make-up bag. I am also a big fan of the names used for the entire collection – bronze sands, shimmering sands, white sands and molten lava, which I think conjures up images of the island perfectly.

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Bronze Goddess Capri Eau Fraiche/ Skinscent, Pure Colour Gelée Powder Eyeshadow Palette in Bronze Sands, Pure Colour Illuminating Powder Gelée in Shimmering Sands, Luminous Liquid Bronzer, Pure Colour Nail Lacquer in Molten Lava, Pure Colour Gloss in Shimmering Mirage and Intense Kajal Eye Crayon Duo in White Sands/ Molten Lava.

Have you tried anything from the Capri collection? What is your favourite product?

For more information, please visit Esteelauder.co.uk

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Only because we can…

The ONLY jeans brand was introduced to the Danish market back in 1995. In 2012, the brand now has 300 retail stores across Europe, the Middle East and Canada. Their philosophy inspires us to ONLY live life to the fullest, ONLY wear what we feel like, and ONLY feel it in our hearts, because ONLY the best is good enough. Setting aside yet another tradition of an average ad campaign, ONLY instead decided to create a short interactive feature film to showcase their S/S12 collection. The Liberation was directed by Christoffer Von Reis, and follows three girls crossing boundaries and stirring up trouble in the sleepy suburbs…

The Liberation (Please click)

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Once upon a time…

I have reverted back to my childhood this week with all things fairytale, thank you to the release of Mirror Mirror, and upcoming release of Snow White and The Huntsman. Plus, we have the first anniversary of the Royal Wedding on April 29, so what better time to conjure up dreams and memories of Princes and Princesses. No other designer than Elie Saab can say it best with a dress either, after bringing a beautiful array of Princess worthy gowns down the runway this Spring. His 2012 Haute Couture collection quite simply took my breath away, and while I may still have to kiss a few more frogs before I find my Prince Charming, at least this collection can sweep me off my feet until then.

ELIE SAAB HAUTE COUTURE SPRING 12 PARIS

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The little mermaid…

I have always loved the idea of mermaids, despite the myths about their cruel and evil behaviour. In folklore, it is believed that mermaids would use their beauty and charm to lure sailors to their deaths. However I am still not the first to be seduced by the little mermaid, after all, although wicked, they also present confident, sexy, headstrong women (ok, half women) that could teach us all a small lesson or two. Now, I am not suggesting we start to spurn or spark revenge on the male form, but if we take at least one thing from these mythological creatures – it would be that we should all be more confident in ourselves.

Perhaps this is why the runways of S/S12 also took inspiration from the mermaid? Versace adorned dresses with diamante starfish and sea shells, Giorgio Armani used a pearlesque palette of navy, turquoise and silver, which was accompanied by patterns of swirling water and ripples, whilst Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen topped her collection off with a showstopping tiered fish-tail gown. Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel even set his show ‘under the sea’, sending models down a runway of oversized oysters, pearls and bubbles, with coral reef shaped ruffles and encrusted shell clutches.

Versace 

Giorgio Armani

Chanel

Alexander McQueen

This has to be one of my favourite trends of S/S12, because it instantly takes me away to the clear blue seas of summer, but unfortunately my bank balance isn’t going to stretch to a Versace dress, or Chanel clutch (one can dream). Instead here are my favourite purse friendly finds, so we can all get some of that mermaid confidence into our wardrobes this season…

GET THE LOOK

Lipsy stud detail corset £45

Topshop animal jacquard shorts in mint £30 (also available in silver and pink)

Accessorize clam shell chanelier earrings £6.00

Accessorize ballroom diamante clutch £40

ASOS cupchain and cord statement necklace £15

River Island scallop hem top £30

River Island cream sequin mini skirt £60

TO FINISH

Bourjois little round pot eyeshadow in BLEU CANARD £5.49, available at BOOTS

*Don’t feel brave enough for a dramatic eye? Just add a sweep of BLEU CANARD along your lashes to act as an eyeliner.

Topshop nails in MERMAID £6.00

Charles Worthington front row rough and tousled salt spray £6.29, available at BOOTS 

*Spray onto wet hair and scrunch dry for natural off-the-beach waves.

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The new animal print…

I love a statement animal print, as long as it is kept classy. Over the last few years we have seen the comeback of leopard, snakeskin and dalmatian prints, but it seems that zebra is the one to invest in this season after Michael Kors graced the runway last September. From dresses, jumpers, jeans, bags and even shoes, zebra prints (not real fur) have entered the shops sooner than you can say safari.

Michael Kors S/S12

Here are some of my favourite pieces I have spotted out and about in the last few days, and the best way to wear them:

For work:

Oasis zebra print dress £60 

Keep the dress smart with opaque tights, a tuxedo blazer, and loafers or courts.

A lunch date:

Oasis zebra print cardigan £42

This cardy can be worn as a jumper with all the buttons done up, or over one of your favourite tops, then pair with black skinny jeans and ankle boots to complete the look.

For a night out:

Lipsy zebra dress with belt £48

For instant glamour just add platform heels and an oversized clutch.

At the shops:

River Island brown zebra print tote bag £40

This shopping tote is guaranteed to make any daytime outfit stand out.

At the beach:

River Island black zebra print panel sandals £28 

Team these sandals with a tribal inspired bikini, maxi dress, beach basket and your signature sunnies.

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