Sunday, 23 August 2015

Shoes of My Summer | Clarks Sharna Balcony Sandal*

Throughout Summer, I do not know of one person who does not wear sandals whether that be flat, strappy, heeled or with a peep toe. Sandals are really versatile and a staple in my collection, so when I was contacted by a lovely chap on behalf of shoe retailer Brantano who asked if I would like to take my pick from a huge selection of foot ware, I jumped at the chance.

Stocking various brands from Nike & Adidas to Clarks & Carvelle, I opted for a simple, classic sandal from Clarks.

The Sharna Balcony Sandal* is a super comfy, low heeled shoe with a patent block heel and matching suede toe and ankle straps. I went for these as I wanted something which would be suitable for work but wouldn't look out of place if I wanted to wear them for drinks in the evening.

I have been really impressed with these shoes and have worn them non stop since they arrived on my door step. They are really comfortable with a cushioned sole which is to be expected from Clarks and they have worn well, moulding to the natural shape of my step .They even saw me through an afternoon of walking through London for drinks and to see Bugsy Malone in The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. 

The heel height is perfect, not too high but not too low either. For my evening in London, I paired them with a fabulous flared sleeve playsuit from ASOS which is now only £15.00 in the sale along with a beautiful filigree crown which is also from ASOS & is one of my most favourite things I think I have ever bought. Inner Grecian goddess vibes let loose.

*items marked with an asterisk have been gifted. whilst I have not spent my own money on the item, all opinions are my own and are true, accurate descriptions of my experience with said item. i have not been paid to publish this post.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Pretty Nails for Lazy Girls

Hello love bugs! I hope you are well.

Todays post is brought to you with a loathing of chipping nails, polish that flicks off within an hour of applying it and topcoat that says it makes a mani last, but just makes it peel off - Seche Vite I'm looking at you honey.

I love nail varnish and probably have every colour known to man. I love how it looks when it's freshly painted and how it looks all swish and glossy. I just feel a little more 'put together' with painted nails. But is it just me, that within a day or two, they are chipping or I find myself bored within five minutes of them drying and smudge them?!

Because of the above, I have stuck with bare nails for several months now. I just cant be bothered with the effort when in a few days they will look mank again. I am hands up a lazy girl when it comes to nails and needed this to change!

Queue my little mate CatKin who introduced me to at home gel nails. She painted my nails with gel polish and cured them under a LED lamp which meant I had chip free, glossy nails for ten whole days before there was even 1 hint of them being needing to be redone. So with thanks to Cat, I purchased my own at home kit and I am yet to look back!

I bought a kit from Amazon for £46.99 which I thought was pretty reasonable seeing as a full set of gels done in a salon would cost around £30.00. I opted for the Bluesky Kit with Mylee Curing Lamp which I believed to be LED but turned out to be UV. It still works great but LED is better as it is quicker, doesn't emit harmful rays and also the bulbs in a UV lamp need changing every now and then whereas you don't with LED. This is totally my mistake and I clearly didn't read the description very well but it does the job all the same!

With the kit you get the following:-

Curing Lamp
Bluesky Base & Top Coat
Bluesky colour gel of your choice (I went for Rubble - a pretty grey/beige)
Gellux Prep & Wipe to sanitise the nails and remove any residue from the final coat
Gellux Remover
200 Lint Free Pads

It is really easy to use and there are straight forward instructions in the box which enable a failsafe application of the gel for pretty, shiny and long lasting nails. My first ever attempt took just under an hour which included fiddling around with all the bits inside the box and getting familiar with what does what. So yes, it does take a small amount of time but if you are lazy like me and can't be bothered to venture out to a salon, no longer want to pay salon prices and think you could do a good enough job at home whilst you are in pyjamas, bra whipped off, make up removed and hair scraped back then I would highly recommend investing in a at home kit. Bare in mind that I bought UV which takes double the time of a LED lamp. With an LED lamp you could have a fresh set in roughly 30mins I would imagine!

Bluesky colours are super easy to get hold of, you can purchase them through Amazon or eBay at  around £5 each which I think is pretty standard for bottles of nail varnish, and for those who love an accent nail or something a little more interesting, they have an excellent range of colour change and super pretty glitters too.  You can of course buy different gel colours from various brands but ensure they cure with the lamp you have purchased as not all gels work with both lamps.

When you apply the final top coat, you will find that there is a sticky residue left on the nail. Do not worry - this isn't a fault in the gel and you haven't applied it wrong or cured it ineffectively, the gel stays sticky so it can bond with the next layer properly. A final wipe with the Prep & Wipe solution will take this off and leave you with the final result.

I am so happy with how they last; I type everyday and wash up every night, use cleaning products and use my talons as tools & still have pretty nails. Yes it might take a little time, but I would so much rather apply gel once every 10 days than paint them every other!!

Have you got a at home gel kit or are you thinking of getting one? What do you think? Are there any brands of gel you love?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Clothes & Me | A Journey Through My Wardrobe

For me, clothes and how I adorn my body is a big part of how I express myself, how I want to be portrayed, to be seen and most of all, how to make me feel comfortable and most like 'me'.
I have tried many styles, eras, genres, all lasting for about a year tops until I experimented with something else, waiting for the right 'look' for me to fit into place and embrace forever more. Probably my favourite phase was when I was in sixth form. Imagine lego hair, bandannas, floral dresses, plimsolls with ribbons for laces, cropped pastel cardigans and pink lipstick. Mixed patterns and contrasting prints were the norm. Pretty much what ever I felt like I wanted to wear, regardless of whether it went or not was what I went for that day. I probably looked like a charity shop vomited all over me. But I was happy and I felt great. I dressed for me.

Although this was my longest phase, it soon died after a year or two. I started to lose my quirks, my mismatched wardrobe and lego hair. Soon I dressed like everyone else and became just another one of the force fed fashion consumers. I looked like a TopShop mannequin. I had a side swept fringe and whilst I loved it and thought it was the height of individualism, put in a police line up of 'What Indie Girl Has the Best MySpace Hand', I could have been as guilty as the next. We. All. Looked. The. Same!

I got myself a retail job and kind of regained a little individuality, but again, I only worked there for a year and left for the worst admin job of my life. My beloved nose piercing got the boot in hope of my new manager liking me. She didn't. I got my nails professionally done like her to gain her respect. She didn't. I wore boring clothes and lost everything about who I once was. JACK POT! I left after 6 months of utter misery.

When I chatted to James' Mum about how I felt about clothes, she even agreed that I 'lost' who I was. And that makes me sad.  Not only did I feel completely alien in my own skin, but I looked like it too. From knowing me at a time where I was an eclectic, happy mess to being a boring, conformed disaster, it must have been crystal clear that I just wasn't Rheya,

Still, even after leaving the office job from hell, I dressed to please others. To fit in and to conform. Whilst I still liked what I wore, I didn't love it. I wasn't myself. I was dressing as someone else. I started blogging which really helped me come out of my shell again. I have included a few images above since the inception of  PixiRella for  you to see how varied my style has been throughout the past year or two. To get a better idea, grab a cup of tea and a paper bag ready for all the cringe you are about to vomit and take a peek through my MySpace. I apologise in advance for all the awkward teen photos! I digress - since blogging I started to experiment with Dr Martens and started really getting back into 'Vintage', something which I loved when I was an Art and Textiles student. 

I found shopping in charity shops was more my thing than the glossy high street and then James took up a hobby which was to really influence my appearance - Scooters! Lambrettas, Vespas, Ska, Northern Soul. It just awoken all the love and passion for dressing for me and what catches my eye. For feeling confident and great in clothes again. I saw these beautiful girls, dressed in white tights with flicks tickling the edges of their brows, with beehives and with bowling bags. Girls in pinafore dresses, matching 2 piece skirt suits with pussy bow shirts. With blunt hair and in little heels. I wanted to be a part of this.

The further we got into the Scooter scene, the deeper in love I fell. Since going to various events and experiencing a wide array of fashion and the 'lifestyle' that comes with such style, I have never felt more myself. I proudly backcomb my hair into a beehive for work. Wear a thick sheepskin coat and brightly patterned dresses for the weekly shop. I embrace the double chin in turtle neck tops and my 'Michael Jackson' white boots which aren't to everyone's taste. But it's mine.

So really, what I am getting at here is super simple. Just be true to you. If one day you want to dress like a goth and the next you want to be a majestic unicorn, head to toe in pink and glitter, that's cool.
If you want to wear trackies or if you want to wear a beehive and a suede skirt, that's cool too!

The worst thing I ever, ever, ever did was thinking that by changing how I looked would gain the approval of someone else even if it would come at a cost of losing part of who I was/am. Take for instance when I removed my nose piercing - they hired me with it. They knew I had it. I didn't need to take it out. This goes for anything and anyone. If people don't accept you as you are when you first meet, then they aren't someone you need around you. Family should always love you regardless, Friends should be the same, encouraging you to be even weirder and wonderful-er than you ever was before.

I know this sounds pretty cringe and super preachy - but I really felt this needed to be covered. So many girls these days dress like one another - and if that is really the look you want, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are suppressing what you truly want in fear of others, you are ultimately only hurting yourself. The sooner you are brave and wear that leopard print leotard and neon pink leggings to town, the quicker you can get rid of that anxious squidgy feeling in your tummy from worrying about what people will think. The more you do it, the less you will care and soon the squidgy turns will become bursts of confidence and pride in yourself. Sure you might get stared down by a girl or two. But who are they to you? No one. Will you see them again? Maybe - but maybe not. She is no doubt a narrow minded individual who is like the person who I once was. Boring!

I hope this rings true with some of you and that you can relate - and if you do, I hope that you are now in a happier place and enjoy being your favourite version of you!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

My Current | Brows & Lids

Finding a daily routine that you are happy with can be tricky, but I have found myself gravitating to the same brow and liner look for a while now so thought I would share!

Now in no way am I saying my make up is perfect, it is far from it, I am still working on my ideal brows but I think I am nearing the shape for me & find the products used to create this look are super affordable, easy to get hold of and in my opinion a great starting point for defined brows and sleek, flicked liner.

For brows, I use the Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra Brow Arch & Shape Medium which is a double ended brow pencil and felt tip. For £3.50 this is incredible! The pencil in particular is incredibly pigmented and used with a light hand can create a really natural brow but can equally be built for a stronger look.

I start by using the felt tip end, lightly filling in my brows in the slightly sparser areas and create a slight outline on the bottom arch. I find that the pen end does collect any foundation which may have found its way onto the hairs and this does effect the colour pay off, however as I use this as a base I am not all that bothered. Drawing a few lines on the back of your hand will take off most of the product and you should see the colour of the pen coming through again. I would say that you may not even need to use the pen side of the Brow Dual, I have used the pencil side alone and like the results equally - it just depends on how much time you have or your personal preference.

Once I have lightly filled in my brows, I use the pencil side to build the colour and shape of the arch. The consistency of the pencil is lovely and smooth with a slight waxy texture. This keeps the hairs nicely in place and doesn't look too false. I think its quite apparent that I have filled my brows in in the above photos, but in my opinion I wouldn't say I have the famous scouse brow slug trailing across my forehead, just a defined, darkened brow which balances out my rather round moon head!!

One tip I would say with the Brow Dual is to make sure you use the pen first or just go straight in with the pencil. I have found that by using the pen after the pencil takes off the product you have so carefully applied. Not only is this annoying but it wastes time and effort and ultimately the pencil.

The Brow Dual comes in four shades; Fair, Medium, Dark & Darkest. I would say I have quite a dark but golden brown head of hair and find that Medium is a good match for me. The duo isn't red or purple toned which is such a plus, it is a true brown however is quite a dark shade for being 'medium' in name, I would be interested in seeing how dark Fair is in comparison . I would recommend Medium to most who wanted to use this product unless you hair is borderline black or darker or if you prefer a more obvious look.

To line my eyes and create flicks, I have been using the Makeup Revolution Awesome Double Flick Thick & Thin liner. Again, as the name would suggest,  this is a double ended product with a thin felt tip nib on one end and a slightly thicker nib on the other. The liner is a true, deep black and stays this way for the whole day. It doesn't start to fade, peel or have a grey/silver sheen and has great staying power too. Gentle rubbing doesn't really budge the liner once dried but comes off well with make up remover so you aren't going to be scrubbing your eyes to get it off.

The application of the liner is really, really good! One of the best, if not THE best I have used. The thin felt pen enables super precise flicks but the thicker tip can create thin lines also. They apply nicely directly to the lash line or over the top of eye shadows without effecting the black pigmentation.

The liner also retails at £3.50 and for the quality of the product, I don't see why you need to reach for anything else! I was quite sceptical with the longevity of the Awesome Double Flick, thinking it would dry up really quickly or it wouldn't last well on the lid but I am so impressed. The nibs are just as *cringe word warning...* moist a month on since first using the liner and can't see them running out any time soon! The efficiency of both ends means you get more bang for your buck.

For me, this combo is a win win - affordable, accessible (you can buy online or pop into Superdrug) and most importantly they work!

Makeup Revolution has really impressed me and there are definitely going to be more reviews of their products in the future. This post has not been sponsored, and to my knowledge they were not aware I blogged about beauty, but in my first order they sent me lots of free items all of which have accompanied my makeup collection perfectly. I am not too sure what other brands would do that? And to whoever popped those lovely extra's into my delivery - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Have you tried the liner or brow pen or any other Revolution products? What do you think?

Monday, 9 March 2015

Dr Martens | My Collection

Since buying my first pair about 2 to 3 years ago, I haven't worn much else on the shoe front. Dr Martens are such an iconic shoe and brand and one which I have grown up with. My dad has always worn Dr Martens and had his trusted 8 eyelet 1460 boots for years. 

Granted, they do take a while to break in, a few blisters here and there, but I adore my collection and only have plans for it to grow. So.... here is my brood of DMs, I hope you like them 

I may of slightly fibbed when I say I bought my first 'pair', as in fact, I bought two at once - I couldn't decide which pair I liked the most so did what girls do best, bought both on the basis that I would return one and then when I decided that I liked both, I couldn't part with one when they nestled so perfectly in my collection, I kept them. Ooop. Shoe excuses aside, my first DM indulgence was the Serena, a faux fur lined, 8 eyelet boot with a slightly worn look nubuck leather and the Flora, a chelsea boot in cherry red although I think these are more of a mahogany, reddish brown colour. 

The Serena's are super comfy and took the least amount of breaking in - they saw me through a 5 day trip to New York and are still going strong. The faux fur lining is really nice and snug so make for a perfect winter boot, but are nice in the Summer too with dresses and shorts.

The Flora's are my most worn pair of DM's. I absolutely ADORE these and the more I wear them and the more scuffed they get, the more I fall in love. I wear them to work, at the weekend, for dinner with James, casual nights out - there is nothing that could seperate us and the pair which I would 100% repurchase time and time again. The colour is just the right amount of red to add interest to an outfit but the classic shape and style of the boot makes them really versatile and easy to pair with most outfits.

The most recent addition to my collection is the 1461 Shoe which are in joint first place with the Flora's. In contrast to my other Dr Marten's, what I love about these is that there isn't anything on the exterior that tell's you the brand. Some may say that that is kind of the whole idea of spending so much on a pair of shoes, but these are so sleek in a masculine and preppy/geek way that I really love. Nothing detracts from the style of them such as yellow stitching around the sole and they look understated cool with every outfit. I am so so happy to own these and again, these are a style which I will definitely repurchase in the future.

What would my wardrobe be without a sturdy pair of sandals?! The Gryphon fits the bill perfectly and were a firm staple throughout the summer months. James thinks they are utterly ugly and are his least favourite pair I own, and I totally see that. But isn't that kind of the appeal of Dr Martens? They're all kind of ugly in the most perfect way. In the Gryphon's case, these are literally like wearing bricks. Turn them over and check out the sheer size of the sole. They are huge but luckily they don't look so outlandishly large once on. These took a while to break in and I have a feeling they may hurt a little again this summer when I dust them off in exchange for my boots. Buuut I think it's worth it. The leather has worn really well and has become buttery soft. They aren't the best for tan line conscious hunnies but (in my opinion) look as fabulous on a beach with a bikini and a kimono as they do paired with shorts and a tee on a adventurous walk.

My least worn pair of Doc's are the Fitzrovia loafers which I don't think were or are available in the UK? I bought them when I was in NYC and believe they are from the Eclectic Collection.
I really love how they look and that they are canvas, I think they are a great alternative to the usual style Dr Martens are known for. However this is also kind of my issue. I find them really difficult to pair with outfits and always take them off and swap with something else. I am hoping this summer I will be able to style them some how as I would hate to see them go. These are the most affordable pair I own which I think is down to the fabric which they are made from but I still would feel that letting them go would be as much of a waste as them sitting in my wardrobe doing nothing. I think the hoarder within me needs to let go possibly? It's a shame as these are really comfy and squidgy!

What are your favourite DM's or if you are yet to take the plunge, what ones do you have your eye on?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

PixiRella's Pop Up Vintage | A Retro Lifestyle Event

For a while now I have been lusting after all the amazing vintage and retro fairs in London, Liverpool, Cambridge, anywhere that basically isn't on my doorstep and requires a hefty amount of travelling to get to.

In Hertfordshire where I live, there have been some vintage fairs which have been brought to my attention of late, most of which are shabby chic; think cream hearts, wicker baskets and floral garlands. Don't get me wrong, I think this style and choice of interior is really pretty and looks fab - before I moved out of my Mumma's, my bedroom was a Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston dream. But that's done. That has been circulating the fair scene for a while now. I need orange, paisley, pyrex & anglepoise lamps.

Instead of crying into my Instagram feed of beautiful kitchenalia, girls dressed in Fred Perry polo's, DMs & pencil skirts, retro homeware and vintage clothing to the sound of You Don't Love Me, I decided to do something about it! So, I've decided to run my own :)

The past month I have been emailing and messaging potential sellers, gathering interest through Facebook & through friends/family and can proudly say that the reservation of stalls has been starting to flow in! I really want to make this event a success and bring an authentic, original and fresh vintage fair to my home town.

So enough of the why, more on the when and where!!

PixiRella's Pop Up Vintage is to be held at The Barclay School, Stevenage which is located just behind the Old Town which is full of shops, eateries and other amenities as well as lots of residential footfall which should make for a popular turnout.

As outlined in the event flyer above, I hope for the event to have an array of wares ranging from kitchenalia, clothes, music, refreshments, crafts and reworked items as well as scooter memorabilia to really encapsulate a retro 'lifestyle'.

It is free for those who wish to buy and browse between 12 midday and 3pm and can be found in the main hall of the school. It's super easy to find - it's just off of the main reception area and will be decorated to ensure your eyes are grabbed and your pennies burn holes in your pockets!

As I said before, several stalls have been reserved but if you are seller of vintage, retro, inspired or reworked goods and would like to sell at PixiRella's Pop Up Vintage then please email or leave a comment down below including your email address and I shall get back to you asap!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Suede & Sheepskin

Sheepskin Coat | eBay
Bandanna | Charity Shop
Turtle Neck | ASOS
Skirt | eBay
Belt | ASOS
Shoes | Dr Martens

I have been a little reluctant to wear turtle neck tops/jumpers/dresses as one is a little chubby in the facial regions, but since deciding that I am going to dress for me and forget about the opinion of others, I am embracing the triple chin and going for it any way! Plus it's still cold out and turtle necks are fab for keeping warm!

Chubby chins aside, I am so so so in love with this orange faux suede skirt. It is rather short on me (tall girl problems) but I couldn't care less. The colour is so nice and it feels super soft to touch. It has well and truly become a wardrobe staple since buying it a few weeks ago!

To tie all the colours of the outfit together I love a silk scarf worn as a bandanna. This one was from a charity shop as do most of the scarves I buy. You can pick them up for only a few pounds and are a really versatile item to have and to incorporate in many outfits.

a HUGE thank you to the lovely Megan for using her posh camera and spending her free time to take these photos for me. Check out her website for other beautiful photo's including some she has taken for my sisters dance portfolio

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Gift Set Guide to the Guy-laxy*

Valentines day is kind of a love it / hate it kind of celebration, people either enjoy basking in a day full of mush whilst other watch on with a mouthful of last nights dinner. Personally I am all for it!!

Don't get me wrong, I think you should give affection to your loved one regularly and show them in other ways than buying them something to show them you care. But as one who LOVES an excuse to buy presents and wrap things in pretty paper and ribbons, I shall definitely be getting James a little something something this year.

So, if you too would like to treat your Mr. Lover Lover this V Day, House of Fraser have an excellent selection of gift sets - here are my top 5 :)

1. Bulldog Skincare Kit For Men
James was bought this set for Christmas from my Mumma and he has really enjoyed using it so far. For a chap that isn't really bothered about skin care, he has reached for this a few times now and the handy bag means he can keep his nick naks in one neat and tidy place (which means more bathroom space for me!) Also, it smells REALLY nice whilst making his skin look fresh and clean.
For a face wash, scrub and moisturiser, its a really great, affordable set - perfect for those who might want to dip their toes into the pool of skincare

2. Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau De Toilette
I have never known a guy to not like a nice aftershave and one of my favourites is Paco Rabanne 1 Million. This set contains a 100ml tube of the shower gel along with a 50ml bottle of the fragrance itself to make your bf smell delish from head to toe

3. Jo Malone Cologne Duo Gift Set
I don't know about buying this for James, I want this for myself! What a gorgeous set!
Jo Malone is such an iconic brand renowned for its delicious fragrances. This gift set includes a 30ml Pomegranate Noir Cologne and a 30ml English Pear & Freesia Cologne which you can wear individually or layered to create something a little more bespoke.
It also looks amazing on his bedside table and will no doubt make its way onto yours in no time!

4. Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Pour Homme Eau de Toilette
Take it from me, this fragrance is so nice! James has repurchased this twice now since he got a nasal man crush on a fellow Issey Miyake lover, which I think must be a rarity? In the land of girls I think it's quite common to ask where another female has purchased [insert delish new must have item that she has and you don't here] and then go on a frantic hunt to find it yourself, but I can't imagine boys doing so? Do they? I would like to know!!
Any whoooooo - the bottle is huge lasts for ages. It smells really hunky if that can even describe a scent and comes with a shower gel AND after-shave balm too. If James didn't already have this, this set would be number 1 on my list of bits to get him

5. Baylis & Harding Citrus, Lime and Mint Large Box Set
This set would be great for gym lovers. In this box is everything he would need post work out to have him smelling fresh again ready for snuggles with you!
With a hair and body wash, shower gel, shave balm and face wash, he is good to go. The packaging looks a lot higher end than the price for the set which is always a bonus and the scent sounds mouthwatering. A no brainer!

I hope you have found inspiration in this post. Do you have any sets in mind you are thinking of giving this V Day? What's your favourite pick from the 5 above?

Byeee xo