Just a twenty-something in London who's always enjoyed looking at other people's 'favourite things' features, and decided to create a space compiling my own.

I'll mainly post my fashion and beauty obsessions, but I may throw food or music or anything that strikes my fancy in.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do :)

All photos taken by me unless otherwise stated.
OWN / Favourite TV series soundtrack
I’m currently in the middle of exams, so please excuse the sporadic posting. Thought I’d take a break from the fashion and beauty and do a quick post on the music I’m currently enjoying with the company of my books - the Twin Peaks season 1 soundtrack. The instrumental arrangements are so complex and funky, but they glide over your ears like melted honey. When Julee Cruise gets a chance to sing over them, it feels like you’re floating through mist. Really beautiful stuff to work to, reminds me of a darker version of Roxy Music’s Avalon.
I’ve taken advantage of the sales and have a couple of favourite new items to share with you when I’m done, but I’ve also been on a beauty kick recently - good skin is the best accessory to a nice lipstick or pretty dress, after all - so expect some more routine revisions and favourite product reviews. 
(Image of the first shot from the famous opening sequence via here)

OWN / Favourite TV series soundtrack

I’m currently in the middle of exams, so please excuse the sporadic posting. Thought I’d take a break from the fashion and beauty and do a quick post on the music I’m currently enjoying with the company of my books - the Twin Peaks season 1 soundtrack. The instrumental arrangements are so complex and funky, but they glide over your ears like melted honey. When Julee Cruise gets a chance to sing over them, it feels like you’re floating through mist. Really beautiful stuff to work to, reminds me of a darker version of Roxy Music’s Avalon.

I’ve taken advantage of the sales and have a couple of favourite new items to share with you when I’m done, but I’ve also been on a beauty kick recently - good skin is the best accessory to a nice lipstick or pretty dress, after all - so expect some more routine revisions and favourite product reviews. 

(Image of the first shot from the famous opening sequence via here)

OWN / Favourite cleanser
Confession: for the longest time I hardly cleansed my face. Sacrilege, I know. I’d moisturise and exfoliate weekly, and my skin would chug its bumps and dry patches along and I’d wonder why, in my 20s, it wasn’t better.
I’ve only ever used drugstore brand and Clinique cleansers, which after some research I’ve realised were probably too harsh on my dry, sensitive skin, not helped by London’s hard water. I also have some dark spots caused by acne scarring which I wanted to lighten instead of just to conceal, and I wanted to brighten my skin tone overall.
Having nosed around the internet, I ended up looking at Jurlique’s Purely White Skin Brightening line. It’s a gentle line using mostly natural ingredients meant to brighten (not whiten) the skin and reduce pigmentation. I already have good day and night moisturisers, so I decided to buy the Brightening Cleanser and the Brightening Essence - the priciest product - from the line. You’re supposed to use their Brightening Mist in between, but I didn’t want to add a fourth step to my everyday routine. So what I currently do*, except on exfoliating day, is I wash my face after my shower, splash cold water on my face and pat most of it off (to replicate the Mist step), then gently press the essence onto my damp skin before moisturising as usual.
I’ve used these two products for a month, generally cleansing only nightly. I love the cleanser - it’s gentle, but after using it my skin feels smooth and genuinely clean, not taut or tight in the least. As for the essence, I first made the mistake of using it on dry skin which irritated it - it’s fine on damp skin. My skin does feel tighter about 10 mins after I use it, which is quickly remedied by moisturising. 
Overall I’m pleased with the line. I only use 2 of their 5 products, but even without my weekly face scrub my skin felt noticeably smoother, and the problematic little bumps I’d had on my chin and cheeks that exfoliation didn’t help with are now mostly gone or at least significantly reduced. The pigmentation on my skin from scarring also lightened after about 2-3 weeks of use, and my skin tone is brighter overall.
Bottom line: I’d definitely recommend these products if you had the skin problems I did.
* - My skin is far from perfect, and I’m looking to try a new exfoliator and mask to address other concerns, but it’s definitely better than it was before. I’ll let you know if the new routine/any of the new products become keepers!

OWN / Favourite cleanser

Confession: for the longest time I hardly cleansed my face. Sacrilege, I know. I’d moisturise and exfoliate weekly, and my skin would chug its bumps and dry patches along and I’d wonder why, in my 20s, it wasn’t better.

I’ve only ever used drugstore brand and Clinique cleansers, which after some research I’ve realised were probably too harsh on my dry, sensitive skin, not helped by London’s hard water. I also have some dark spots caused by acne scarring which I wanted to lighten instead of just to conceal, and I wanted to brighten my skin tone overall.

Having nosed around the internet, I ended up looking at Jurlique’s Purely White Skin Brightening line. It’s a gentle line using mostly natural ingredients meant to brighten (not whiten) the skin and reduce pigmentation. I already have good day and night moisturisers, so I decided to buy the Brightening Cleanser and the Brightening Essence - the priciest product - from the line. You’re supposed to use their Brightening Mist in between, but I didn’t want to add a fourth step to my everyday routine. So what I currently do*, except on exfoliating day, is I wash my face after my shower, splash cold water on my face and pat most of it off (to replicate the Mist step), then gently press the essence onto my damp skin before moisturising as usual.

I’ve used these two products for a month, generally cleansing only nightly. I love the cleanser - it’s gentle, but after using it my skin feels smooth and genuinely clean, not taut or tight in the least. As for the essence, I first made the mistake of using it on dry skin which irritated it - it’s fine on damp skin. My skin does feel tighter about 10 mins after I use it, which is quickly remedied by moisturising. 

Overall I’m pleased with the line. I only use 2 of their 5 products, but even without my weekly face scrub my skin felt noticeably smoother, and the problematic little bumps I’d had on my chin and cheeks that exfoliation didn’t help with are now mostly gone or at least significantly reduced. The pigmentation on my skin from scarring also lightened after about 2-3 weeks of use, and my skin tone is brighter overall.

Bottom line: I’d definitely recommend these products if you had the skin problems I did.

* - My skin is far from perfect, and I’m looking to try a new exfoliator and mask to address other concerns, but it’s definitely better than it was before. I’ll let you know if the new routine/any of the new products become keepers!

OWN / Favourite everyday face
Over the years I’ve found my favourite products for my everyday makeup routine, mascara excepted. I don’t wear all of these at the same time, but they’re the things I reach for the most on a daily basis.
My standard 8 minute face begins with Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser in Bisque with a dab of Eve Lom’s TLC cream on my lips. I pat on MAC’s Studio Finish concealer in NC20 if I need it. Then I fill in my eyebrows with the residue on my ancient but wonderful Madina eyeliner brush (similar one in the link) and smudge harsh lines with my fingers, before dipping the brush into my Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink and lining my eyes. I start 2/3 of the way in on my upper lid and do a small flick at the corner, then a thin line about halfway along my lower lid. I then curl my upper lashes with Shu Uemura’s curlers and apply whatever mascara I’m trying at the moment, currently Dior’s Diorshow Iconic*. Whilst I wait for it to dry, I swirl my Bare Escentuals kabuki brush in Nars blush in Deep Throat and apply it to my cheeks. I used Orgasm before this but I found it a little too yellow for my skin tone and the glitter too chunky for everyday use. I then put some lip balm (Carmex or Smith’s Rosebud salve) on and go.
If I have more time or feel fancy, I add any of the following: Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse Shimmer under tinted moisturiser to give my skin an overall glow (sometimes I wear this alone with concealer if my skin looks good - there’s now an SPF 30 formula that’d be better for this); Benefit Hoola bronzing powder applied under my cheekbones with a MAC 168 large angled brush for definition; Nars highlighting blush powder in Albatross applied on my cheekbones, forehead, nose bridge, and chin with the same MAC 168 brush for a lovely candlelit glow; Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil to set; Lancome L’Absolu Nu #303 Rose Caresse or Chanel Rouge Coco Shine #54 Boy lipsticks for some colour.
* This clumped initially but stopped after the first few wears. It’s good, though the best ones I’ve used are Helena Rubenstein’s Lash Queen (waterproof) and some Estee Lauder sample the name of which I’ve forgotten. Recently I used Chanel Inimitable and Kanebo 38°C mascara - the former is perfect for everyday definition if you have decent lashes (not me) and the latter for drama, though it’s a pain to remove.

OWN / Favourite everyday face

Over the years I’ve found my favourite products for my everyday makeup routine, mascara excepted. I don’t wear all of these at the same time, but they’re the things I reach for the most on a daily basis.

My standard 8 minute face begins with Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturiser in Bisque with a dab of Eve Lom’s TLC cream on my lips. I pat on MAC’s Studio Finish concealer in NC20 if I need it. Then I fill in my eyebrows with the residue on my ancient but wonderful Madina eyeliner brush (similar one in the link) and smudge harsh lines with my fingers, before dipping the brush into my Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink and lining my eyes. I start 2/3 of the way in on my upper lid and do a small flick at the corner, then a thin line about halfway along my lower lid. I then curl my upper lashes with Shu Uemura’s curlers and apply whatever mascara I’m trying at the moment, currently Dior’s Diorshow Iconic*. Whilst I wait for it to dry, I swirl my Bare Escentuals kabuki brush in Nars blush in Deep Throat and apply it to my cheeks. I used Orgasm before this but I found it a little too yellow for my skin tone and the glitter too chunky for everyday use. I then put some lip balm (Carmex or Smith’s Rosebud salve) on and go.

If I have more time or feel fancy, I add any of the following: Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse Shimmer under tinted moisturiser to give my skin an overall glow (sometimes I wear this alone with concealer if my skin looks good - there’s now an SPF 30 formula that’d be better for this); Benefit Hoola bronzing powder applied under my cheekbones with a MAC 168 large angled brush for definition; Nars highlighting blush powder in Albatross applied on my cheekbones, forehead, nose bridge, and chin with the same MAC 168 brush for a lovely candlelit glow; Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil to set; Lancome L’Absolu Nu #303 Rose Caresse or Chanel Rouge Coco Shine #54 Boy lipsticks for some colour.

* This clumped initially but stopped after the first few wears. It’s good, though the best ones I’ve used are Helena Rubenstein’s Lash Queen (waterproof) and some Estee Lauder sample the name of which I’ve forgotten. Recently I used Chanel Inimitable and Kanebo 38°C mascara - the former is perfect for everyday definition if you have decent lashes (not me) and the latter for drama, though it’s a pain to remove.

NEW / Favourite summer shade
Until I find the perfect hot pink anything, bright poppy is going to be my favourite shade for the summer. I’ve bought it in lipstick form, shirt form, and now dress form by way of this Haute Hippie mini dress. I like the bold colour on what could be an overly saccharine dress in a more traditionally girly shade, and the matching ribbon reins the voluminous folds in. Bright and breezy for the summer - perfect with some neutral or contrasting nails and flatforms :) 

NEW / Favourite summer shade

Until I find the perfect hot pink anything, bright poppy is going to be my favourite shade for the summer. I’ve bought it in lipstick form, shirt form, and now dress form by way of this Haute Hippie mini dress. I like the bold colour on what could be an overly saccharine dress in a more traditionally girly shade, and the matching ribbon reins the voluminous folds in. Bright and breezy for the summer - perfect with some neutral or contrasting nails and flatforms :) 

OWN / Favourite candle
I’d always love being wrapped in the fragrance of a beautifully scented room, but had never purchased a nice candle due to my fear of matches and lighters. That all changed when my dad bought a kitchen torch to make creme brulee with and my fingers didn’t have to be anywhere near a flame to light a wick, and when I moved away from home my flatmates were there to enable my addictionlend me a hand.
I’ve always been partial to the complex scents of Diptyque's candles - when I light one on a dark evening and let myself sink into the atmosphere with my friends Ella, Etta, and Royksopp, I just feel calm and peaceful and utterly content. It doesn’t hurt that the glass jars have an offbeat European quirk to them that sits perfectly pretty in every room. Diptyque released this 34 boulevard St Germain candle for their 50th anniversary and it is divine - its neither masculine nor feminine and it smells slightly green, gently fruity and a touch earthy; it has the subtlety that some Diptyque scents can lack. It comes in a luxurious handmade porcelain jar, though if I’m honest with you I do miss the glass; its a nice touch for a special edition nonetheless. If I could I’d purchase one for every room in my flat. 
Candles may be an indulgence since you’re literally burning through money. But remember: once the candle’s been burned to the last half inch, you can use the jar as a pretty makeup holder. 

OWN / Favourite candle

I’d always love being wrapped in the fragrance of a beautifully scented room, but had never purchased a nice candle due to my fear of matches and lighters. That all changed when my dad bought a kitchen torch to make creme brulee with and my fingers didn’t have to be anywhere near a flame to light a wick, and when I moved away from home my flatmates were there to enable my addictionlend me a hand.

I’ve always been partial to the complex scents of Diptyque's candles - when I light one on a dark evening and let myself sink into the atmosphere with my friends Ella, Etta, and Royksopp, I just feel calm and peaceful and utterly content. It doesn’t hurt that the glass jars have an offbeat European quirk to them that sits perfectly pretty in every room. Diptyque released this 34 boulevard St Germain candle for their 50th anniversary and it is divine - its neither masculine nor feminine and it smells slightly green, gently fruity and a touch earthy; it has the subtlety that some Diptyque scents can lack. It comes in a luxurious handmade porcelain jar, though if I’m honest with you I do miss the glass; its a nice touch for a special edition nonetheless. If I could I’d purchase one for every room in my flat. 

Candles may be an indulgence since you’re literally burning through money. But remember: once the candle’s been burned to the last half inch, you can use the jar as a pretty makeup holder. 

OWN / Favourite earrings
I’ve never been one for flashy earrings, and I found this pair of Juliet & Company petite pearl studs when I was looking for a simple pair that could match most things. I’d always thought pearls were best left to ladies who lunch at the Ritz, but what’s more neutral than white and round? So I ordered them and all was good. They may be glass pearls, but they sure don’t look like the $14 I paid for them. 

OWN / Favourite earrings

I’ve never been one for flashy earrings, and I found this pair of Juliet & Company petite pearl studs when I was looking for a simple pair that could match most things. I’d always thought pearls were best left to ladies who lunch at the Ritz, but what’s more neutral than white and round? So I ordered them and all was good. They may be glass pearls, but they sure don’t look like the $14 I paid for them. 

WANT / Favourite orange lipstick
These MAC lipsticks in Neon Orange (pictured) or Morange look like just the thing to complete my collection of bright lipsticks for the summer (except maybe a mint green Lime Crime shade, hmmm.)
(Photo via Temptalia)

WANT / Favourite orange lipstick

These MAC lipsticks in Neon Orange (pictured) or Morange look like just the thing to complete my collection of bright lipsticks for the summer (except maybe a mint green Lime Crime shade, hmmm.)

(Photo via Temptalia)

NEW / Favourite nail polish
I don’t think I’ve used a pearly or glittery nail polish since I was about 14, eschewing them in favour of creme or matte shades because I thought all the sparkle was tacky. With colour-blocking being all the rage this season, you’d think I’d be quite happily in my nail polish element. Don’t get me wrong, with hot pink pocketed I’m definitely picking bright lime and cobalt shades up this season, but for some reason what I’m really lusting after are metallic shades that look like my nails are coated in molten metal.
Maybe it’s because it’s like hand jewellery without the rings and outlay. This particular polish is two coats of OPI’s Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous. It applies like a dream, and there’s something about the shade and glitter that makes my nails look like they were forged from mercury, or at least some very glitzy pencil lead. Very sleek and slightly lethal, I think it’s a nice contrast to all the white and neons of SS 2011. Now that silver’s taken care of, I’m getting myself some gold.

NEW / Favourite nail polish

I don’t think I’ve used a pearly or glittery nail polish since I was about 14, eschewing them in favour of creme or matte shades because I thought all the sparkle was tacky. With colour-blocking being all the rage this season, you’d think I’d be quite happily in my nail polish element. Don’t get me wrong, with hot pink pocketed I’m definitely picking bright lime and cobalt shades up this season, but for some reason what I’m really lusting after are metallic shades that look like my nails are coated in molten metal.

Maybe it’s because it’s like hand jewellery without the rings and outlay. This particular polish is two coats of OPI’s Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous. It applies like a dream, and there’s something about the shade and glitter that makes my nails look like they were forged from mercury, or at least some very glitzy pencil lead. Very sleek and slightly lethal, I think it’s a nice contrast to all the white and neons of SS 2011. Now that silver’s taken care of, I’m getting myself some gold.

WANT / Prada SS11 platform sandals
If I could buy one pair* of shoes this season it’d be these tan Prada platform sandals. I found the black ones online, which are equally gorgeous, but as fun as monochrome can be a tan sandal is just inescapably more summery.
* Though these slightly more practical Cacharel flatforms are stiff competition
(Photo via Vogue)

WANT / Prada SS11 platform sandals

If I could buy one pair* of shoes this season it’d be these tan Prada platform sandals. I found the black ones online, which are equally gorgeous, but as fun as monochrome can be a tan sandal is just inescapably more summery.

* Though these slightly more practical Cacharel flatforms are stiff competition

(Photo via Vogue)

OWN / Favourite summer style
I wish I was taller so Equipment’s sleeveless signature shirts fit me better - this one is so long that it sticks out under the hems of my almost inappropriately short skirts, and I spend about five minutes shoving a mile of fabric into my jeans when I choose to tuck it in. But when life gives you such super lemons (pun alert!*), you either leave the last three buttons undone and knot the tails up, do a sloppy half-tuck, or throw a slip on underneath it and call it a dress.
* Because this gorgeous colour is called ‘super lemon’. That was kinda clever, right?

OWN / Favourite summer style

I wish I was taller so Equipment’s sleeveless signature shirts fit me better - this one is so long that it sticks out under the hems of my almost inappropriately short skirts, and I spend about five minutes shoving a mile of fabric into my jeans when I choose to tuck it in. But when life gives you such super lemons (pun alert!*), you either leave the last three buttons undone and knot the tails up, do a sloppy half-tuck, or throw a slip on underneath it and call it a dress.

* Because this gorgeous colour is called ‘super lemon’. That was kinda clever, right?

OWN / Favourite lipsticks
L-R: Nars Semi-Matte lipstick in Schiap, MAC Amplified Creme lipstick in Impassioned*, MAC Satin lipstick in MAC Red, Nars Semi-Matte lipstick in Jungle Red, Lancome L’Absolu Nu lipstick in #303 Rose Caresse, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in #54 Boy
For the longest time, I wouldn’t wear anything but lip balm because I thought colour and/or shine on my fairly biglush lips dominated my face. Although my lips are quite naturally pigmented, I noticed sometime last year that they tend to be quite washed out in photos. At the same time, I saw more and more girls rocking bright shades of lipstick on the streets and decided to give it a whirl. Paired with lipliner (I use MAC’s lip pencil in Cherry for red shades and Laura Mercier’s in Potpourri for all others) and a matte face, it worked.
Hot pink was the first colour that clicked. I tried a coral that was too orange, then on the advice of a makeup artist in a MAC store I tried a red that made me look like a slightly emo clown - I later realised it was too dark for my face. I was convinced I was just one of those girls who couldn’t wear red lipstick and moved on; I’d been playing with a Dior lip palette my mom got me on a flight and the sheer fuchsia lipstick had been quite flattering, so I decided to try that instead. NARS Schiap was love at first sight. I go bold when I wear Schiap, and though I adore it I wear MAC Impassioned (a brighter, more orange pink than Schiap) as more of a stain.
I decided to try reds again upon receiving a pair of red birthday shoes, and bought MAC Red on the recommendation of a friend. It looked good, but was a touch deep for my skin tone and too much with the slick of black eyeliner I favour. Still, I’d never come that close before and figured that was it. As luck would have it, I had to swing by Liberty to get some tights and a candle and conveniently, not deliberately of course, stopped by the NARS counter. The makeup artist recommended NARS Jungle Red, which she called a true red, and with one swatch on my palm I bought it. It is the most perfect red on me and I will never stray unless I find one that’s a touch less dry… apparently Rouge d’Armani #400 is good. I’ll let you know.
I’d also been looking for a tinted lip conditioner for everyday wear. A lovely salesgirl in Harrods recommended Lancome L’Absolu Nu in #303, which she said provided a sheer wash of neutral colour that was very hydrating. It was a very pretty coral rose, a wee bit too bright but lovely once I’d dabbed the excess off. I left with it. Then Chanel Rouge Coco Shine was released and the blogosphere went crazy, so I had to see if Boy lived up to the hype. It’s almost a perfect match for my natural lip colour, a bit more purple than the Lancome, and more hydrating. I’ve worn it everyday since.
* This is definitely more pink than it appears in the photo. I apologise for the lighting - I shot in daylight but I couldn’t get the white balance right, and had to up the red and blue levels to make most of the other colours look accurate.

OWN / Favourite lipsticks

L-R: Nars Semi-Matte lipstick in Schiap, MAC Amplified Creme lipstick in Impassioned*, MAC Satin lipstick in MAC Red, Nars Semi-Matte lipstick in Jungle Red, Lancome L’Absolu Nu lipstick in #303 Rose Caresse, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in #54 Boy

For the longest time, I wouldn’t wear anything but lip balm because I thought colour and/or shine on my fairly biglush lips dominated my face. Although my lips are quite naturally pigmented, I noticed sometime last year that they tend to be quite washed out in photos. At the same time, I saw more and more girls rocking bright shades of lipstick on the streets and decided to give it a whirl. Paired with lipliner (I use MAC’s lip pencil in Cherry for red shades and Laura Mercier’s in Potpourri for all others) and a matte face, it worked.

Hot pink was the first colour that clicked. I tried a coral that was too orange, then on the advice of a makeup artist in a MAC store I tried a red that made me look like a slightly emo clown - I later realised it was too dark for my face. I was convinced I was just one of those girls who couldn’t wear red lipstick and moved on; I’d been playing with a Dior lip palette my mom got me on a flight and the sheer fuchsia lipstick had been quite flattering, so I decided to try that instead. NARS Schiap was love at first sight. I go bold when I wear Schiap, and though I adore it I wear MAC Impassioned (a brighter, more orange pink than Schiap) as more of a stain.

I decided to try reds again upon receiving a pair of red birthday shoes, and bought MAC Red on the recommendation of a friend. It looked good, but was a touch deep for my skin tone and too much with the slick of black eyeliner I favour. Still, I’d never come that close before and figured that was it. As luck would have it, I had to swing by Liberty to get some tights and a candle and conveniently, not deliberately of course, stopped by the NARS counter. The makeup artist recommended NARS Jungle Red, which she called a true red, and with one swatch on my palm I bought it. It is the most perfect red on me and I will never stray unless I find one that’s a touch less dry… apparently Rouge d’Armani #400 is good. I’ll let you know.

I’d also been looking for a tinted lip conditioner for everyday wear. A lovely salesgirl in Harrods recommended Lancome L’Absolu Nu in #303, which she said provided a sheer wash of neutral colour that was very hydrating. It was a very pretty coral rose, a wee bit too bright but lovely once I’d dabbed the excess off. I left with it. Then Chanel Rouge Coco Shine was released and the blogosphere went crazy, so I had to see if Boy lived up to the hype. It’s almost a perfect match for my natural lip colour, a bit more purple than the Lancome, and more hydrating. I’ve worn it everyday since.

* This is definitely more pink than it appears in the photo. I apologise for the lighting - I shot in daylight but I couldn’t get the white balance right, and had to up the red and blue levels to make most of the other colours look accurate.