31 October 2015


I honestly can't believe I'm writing my October favourites, how is it the end of October already? This month has been a whirlwind and that has definitely reflected in my favourites this month, or the lack thereof should I say. I only have 5 favourites, 3 of which are pretty much the same thing, but this month has happened in the blink of an eye and I seem to have not experimented enough to warrant very many. Oh well, here's to what I have got...

MAC Cremesheen - Dark Side

I'm sure this comes as no surprise to those who read my blog regularly. I picked this shade up at the beginning of the year, wore it solidly for about 3 months and then lost it. Then there was a 20% sale in Debenhams at the end of September so the guilt of picking up another tube wasn't too bad and it's been constantly at arms reach since! It may have even been in last month's favourites too (which you can catch up o here if you haven't already). If that doesn't show you how much I love this shade then I don't know what will!

Tanya Burr Lipgloss - Berry Picking

I avoided picking up Tanya's products for the longest time, I don't know why. I love her YouTube video's and read her blog all the time, so my logic didn't really make sense. I ended up purchasing the lipgloss because I was due to go out without a bag one night and didn't want to risk losing Dark Side again so thought at £5.99 you can't really go wrong. I certainly didn't anyway. The colour is beautiful, it's slightly lighter and more red toned than Dark Side and has beautiful gold shimmer to it! We all know how much I love anything that sparkles. And plus, it tastes and smells divine. There is this fact I read somewhere that in your lifetime you eat about 7 pounds of lipstick/gloss, and I'm so ok with that when it tastes as good as this!

Maybelline Colour Sensational Lip Pencil - Midnight Plum

This is my go to lip liner for priming my lips before applying Dark Side, but it also works great with Tanya's Berry Picking lip gloss too. It stays put really well, in fact, there have been times where my lipstick has completely worn off and all that is left is a burgundy outline! Whilst it's not really a look I want rep a lot, it just goes to show how good a product is.

Rimmel London - Black Cherries

I mentioned this in my 'Fall Favourites for Nails' blog post the week before last, I used to live in this shade when I was a teenager. It's honestly the most beautiful dark purple/plum shade which is perfect for fall, I wasn't lying. Whilst I probably need to pick up a new bottle because mine has gone a little gloopy and didn't last long at all, I still re-applied probably 3/4 times this month.

MAC Mineralize Blush - Warm Soul

I don't tend to use blush often, I'm one of those people that don't really know when to stop so avoid it all together in order to avoid going out looking like a clown. Even when Halloween is around the corner, it's not a great look! However, when I do brave it all and break out the blush this is always the one I reach for. I've found this month, with the weather getting colder, I look paler and more zombie-like than usual, this blush just adds a slight hint of colour and shimmer to the balls of my cheeks bringing my whole face back to life!

This favourites was quite, burgundy themed, but what is a favourites smack bam in the middle of autumn without those tones which make us want to snuggle in bed with hot chocolate!
Anyway, it's November tomorrow and you know what that means... I jet off to New York in just 24 days for a week of fun-filled birthday celebrations!!! And if November slides by like October has, then I haven't got long to wait at all. Haha, is that optimism or am I dreaming, we'll see...

Love always,
Melissa


30 October 2015


It's the final Friday of October, the penultimate day to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so this week as part of my Breast themed segment we're going to talk about the myths and legends concerning bra's and the way they should fit...

1. Bra's don't expire

The lifespan of a bra depends on how well you look after them, they're just like cars or shoes. If you alternate between the same two bra's every day then granted they're not going to last much longer than a couple of months, especially if you chuck them in the washing machine. It's all about the elastic in the bra, if you wash your bra gently on cold washes and alternate between several different bra's then they'll last much longer.

2. Bra sizes are universal

Like when you buy a pair of jeans, you're never the same bra size in every shop. Every bra is different, and in most cases a balcony bra will fit you differently to the way a t-shirt fits you. In order to make it work, you can alter your bra size so that a different style bra fits perfect. This is the same with different shops, you might be a 36D in one store but a 34DD in another, it just depends on the style, material and colour. Fun fact, dark bra's like black and navy often come up tighter because of the dye that is used to make them that colour, they shrink.

3. Cup sizes larger than F are rare

Most of the ladies I bra fit at work are on average an F cup. Larger cup sizes are so much more common now and high street shops are being much more accommodating for ladies with a larger bust. The store I work in stock sizes up to a J in some styles but most go up to a GG if not H cup.

4. The letter determines the size of the cup

To an extent this is true, yes you are 32D your cup size is a D but you won't be a D in every bra. For example if you decide that actually the 32 is too tight for you and go to a 34, you'll no longer be a D, but actually a C cup. The size of the cup is relative to the size of the back, for every back size you go up, you must go down a cup.

5. White goes best under white

People seem to think that in order to make a bra look invisible you have to go as light as possible. In actual fact, you should choose a colour that is closest to your skin tone. White reflects light, if you're wearing a top that you can see your bra through, more light will be reflected if your bra is white. Granted it won't be as bad as a black bra under a white top, but it's pretty close up there! Try a nude bra instead.

6. The support comes from the straps

Only 20% of the support should come from the straps and the rest from the band around the back. If band is too loose and the straps are taking too much weight from the bust, you could end up with back and neck pain.

7. Wires give support

The wires in bra's are for shape and shape only. I can see why people might think they give support, a metal wire sitting under your bust like a steel beam in a house, sure. But actually you get most of the support from the band around the back, the wires tend to shape mould the breast into a more flattering shape.

8. Non-wired bra's have no shape

Maybe yes, some non-wired bra's have no shape. However, design in bra's has advanced and techniques are in place to give the same effect as a wire without the discomfort that some people get. Most non-wired bra's are fitted with a plastic strip under the armpits as well as reinforced stitching in place of where the wire would have been.

9. You should sleep in a bra

False. You wear a bra in the day to give your breasts support and reduce the shock of daily activities like walking to the store or climbing the stairs. If you wear a bra that isn't supporting you enough, over time your breasts lose the elasticity which is what tends to make them sag or droop. When you're in bed there isn't much movement or shock that is going to effect the tightness of the breast tissue, so you don't need to wear a bra. If you feel more comfortable wearing a bra to bed then by all means carry on, there is no harm in doing so however nor is there no benefit. What I would suggest however, if you are wearing a bra to bed, is to invest in a non-wired bra. Whilst you are asleep the wires can press into the breast tissue damaging it and/or blocking the milk ducts.

10. Breasts are twins

Everyone has one breast bigger than the other. For most people it's just a slight difference that isn't noticeable when you take your bra off. For some people though it can be an entire cup size. Breasts are sisters not twins!

11. The tighter your straps, the more uplift.

When I was in high school, girls used to tighten their straps so tight because they thought it lifted their breasts up and made them look larger. However, after about 10 minutes of wearing a bra, your breasts settle and decide to sit where they want. Tightening the straps just increases the chance of shoulder, back and neck pain.

12. The band size isn't important

Actually, you get 80% of the support from the band of you bra! The looser the band, the less support you are receiving and the more likely it is you'll suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain.

13. Moulded bra's make you look bigger

There are three types of basic 'padding' levels in a bra; soft, moulded and padded. Padded being what it suggests, a little extra padding at the base of the cup to lift you up and look larger. A soft cupped bra is made from a single layer of material, it's great if you like the natural look. Moulded bra's are the most common type of bra, the cup is thicker in order to 'protect' you against the elements, not many people like the nipple through the shirt look. Moulded bra's aren't there to make you look larger, so many ladies with larger breasts refuse to wear them because they think they'll look "even bigger". Not true.

14. You should use the middle hooks

The hooks on a bra are not there so you can pick and choose how tight/loose you want to wear your bra. In fact, they're actually designed to make your bra's last longer, shock horror you thought all shops just wanted your money. I'm joking, but the idea is that as a new bra you should wear it on the loosest hook (hook furthest to the right) then as it gets older and starts to stretch due to the washing and wearing, you can move in inwards in order to maintain the perfect amount of support from the band.

15. You can use the washing machine

If you have genuine respect and care for your belongings then you wouldn't put your bra's in the washing machine. The heat of the wash breaks down the elastic in the bra's and the barrel can ruin the shape of the cup if you have moulded bra's. If you wear wired bra's, the barrel can cause the wire to come out and even damage your washing machine. I'm going to be honest, though, I use the washing machine for my bra's but that's because I'm lazy and often don't have the energy to hand wash my bra's. It's not the be all and end all but if you want to make your bra's and your washing machine last longer then hand washing might be the option for you!

It was another long one this week and if you read the whole thing then I commend you, there's just so much that I wanted to talk about and like last weeks post I didn't want to miss anything important out.  If you haven't read the rest of my Breast Cancer Awareness Month posts yet you can check them out below:


Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  How To Know If Your Bra Fits Properly  How To Fit Your Own Bra

Love always,
Melissa


26 October 2015


This is it, the final installment to my celebrity inspired look is here and it's all about the MTV EMA's! This post is actually going up a little later than usual because I waited until the very last minute to whip it together in order to see if anything from the red carpet took my fancy. There were a lot of bold moves, I wasn't too keen on Justin Bieber's all red ensemble, but Laura's Whitmore's mini dress was quite classy for such a short dress, and the shoes!!! But my favourite of the night was from none other than Ruby Rose, who stole the red carpet!

Ruby showed up in an edgy, angular blazer with little to no top underneath, paired with a pair of black cigarette trousers and open toe shoes. The plunge neckline shows a lot of skin but weighs in nicely with the heaviness of the all black outfit, being sexy without flaunting too much. I'm not too sure what I think about the cane which also accompanied her on the red carpet, I'll sleep on that for a little while longer.

But, back the main reason we're here. All our October outfit needs is a pair of shoes and I think some similar to Ruby's will be perfect. They're black so fit in nicely with the monochrome theme we're channeling. They're quite built in but the peep toe add's a bit of sexiness to them, they also have an open heel too which is something I loved in the summer but never had the confidence to try myself. They're a great, in between seasons shoe.

I found the following two as some great high street dupes...

ASOS - East Town Peep Toe Boots - £45


These are definitely a little more on the, 'going out' side with the stiletto heel and lace up back but aren't they beautiful. The lace up back is quite flirty, whilst the shoe style of shoe itself is quite conservative, a style I really love. It's a new, fun take on something quite classic to your wardrobe!

Public Desire - Priscila Heeled Boots - £19.99


Down from £29 these boots are more affordable and much more wearable during the daytime. The heel is much thicker for a clunkier boot which never goes a miss if you're as terrible at walking in heels as I am! I like the zip detail which add's a bit of glamour to the outfit and sort of makes up for the lack of jewellery accessorising.

So, finally, the October celebrity-inspired outfit is as follows:


Week 1 - ASOS Off the Shoulder Top, inspired by Alexa Chung

Week 2 - New Look Coated Jeans, inspired by Nina Nesbitt

Week 3 - Zara Masculine Coar, inspired by Jennifer Lawrence

Week 4 - ASOS East Town Peep Toe Boot, inspired by Ruby Rose

Honestly, I would wear this outfit! It's cute but edgy and so my style. The boots are a little more daring that what I'd usually go for, but it's definitely something I'd like to give a go and challenge myself with. What do you think?

Next Sunday see's the beginning of a new Month so a whole new start to a celebrity-inspired outfit! It's going to be my birthday month so maybe we'll end up with something a little more fancy and ready to party. Who knows. I'd love to know what you thought about this month's Style Mixer posts in the meantime, it was the start of something new and it turned out better than expected!

Love always,
Melissa


23 October 2015


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and in aid of that I've spent the past few weeks talking about everything breast related. Last week I talked about the importance of wearing a bra that fits correctly, you can read that here if you haven't already. So this week I wanted to give you a Bra Fitting masterclass. I've been working as a professional bra fitter for a leading department store for the past 5 years so a wealth of knowledge has built up that I want to share with you. Especially if you're still plucking up the courage to get fitted professionally...

Band


There are 2 ways to find your back size, the easiest way is to grab a tape measure and wrap it around your body, just under the breast tissue, inch side up. Depending on the measurement, add 2 inches to get the band size. The second way is to, again, measure around your body under the breast, but this time with centimeters. Once you find your measurement, use the conversion chart below to find your back size. Theoretically, doing it in cm's is more accurate however inches is easier and faster. But remember, the tape measure is just for guidance and from personal experience, it is only right 75% of the time. The majority of finding your bra size should be from looking at the way the bra fits and adjusting accordingly. 


The band is the part of the bra that gives you the most support. It should lie completely horizontal all the way around the torso and back. If it rides up your back and forms a bridge or comes away from the body on your rib cage, then the back is too big and you should go down a size. When you have the correct band size, when tugged the band should only give 1.5inches (3 fingers), any further then it isn't giving you the support that you need. 

Straps

The straps of the bra only give 20% of the support, so if they are digging into your shoulders and leaving painful marks then too much of the weight is being left to the straps. To fix this you need to go down in the back size, this will lift the breasts and take more of the weight giving your shoulders a deserved rest.

Similarly to the band, when tugged the straps should only give 1.5 inches or a width of 3 fingers. If they give more than that you need to tighten them to make sure they are taking full 20% of support they are there for! If your bra is more than 6 months old, toss it in the bin, no matter how much you tighten the straps, your old comfy bra isn't going to support you the way it should be!

Cups

The cup size is probably the most difficult part of finding the right bra size. Every bra is different the same as every body is different. Chances are the perfect, comfy t-shirt bra you live in won't fit as nicely as the pretty balcony bra you love because the shape is different. It's kind of like dressing for your shape, if you have an hourglass figure you go for clothes which cinch you in at the waist because they accentuate you assets! It's similar with bra's.

If you have a good Google on how to bra fit, most sites will tell you to measure the bust. I was never taught that way because it's not very accurate because every breast shape is different. The way I do it though is to look at the bra you're wearing. If you're in a 34D and the back size is perfect but the breast is giving a double boob effect then you need to try a larger cup like a 34DD for example. However, if the back size is too big but the cup is perfect then you need to go to a 32DD. If you go up in the back size, go down in the cup and vice versa, Boux Avenue have a great video that explain it well here

Wires

Once you've picked a cup size that you think is ok, you need to check the wires. The wires must sit flat on the chest, if the wire presses into the breast tissue leaving marks or comes away from the chest then the cup size is still too small. 

You must also check the ends of the wires underneath your arms too, they must come back past where the breast tissue ends. If they don't I would suggest trying a smaller back size if the bra fits everywhere else I've mentioned, if that doesn't work increase the cup again. It's important that the wires don't poke in anywhere if they do they can block your milk ducts which could eventually lead to Mastitis (you can read about it here). The condition is most common in ladies who are breastfeeding but I have worked with people who have developed it from wearing the incorrect bra size! 

And that is everything, I tried to keep it as short at possible, but there's so much information to learn! I've read so many sites which put it more concisely, but they leave out so much information that I think is super important. 

I urge you to pop in and see a professional if you're unsure or have never been fitted before. Most places offer a free bra fitting service with no obligation to buy afterward. There's nothing to be afraid of, I work 30 hours a week and probably fit around 20 people alone, we're all professionals and there's nothing we haven't seen before. If you have any questions leave a comment below or even send me an email if you want a more private response. 

And then just before I go, like I said at the beginning, this post is part of my Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, you can learn more about that in my post here. If you would like to donate you can visit the official Breast Cancer Awareness website here.

Love always,
Melissa


21 October 2015


I saw this tag post, ages ago, possibly before I even started writing this blog and thought it was such a clever idea. My make-up collection hasn't gotten out of control and I wouldn't yet call it an obsession, but I thought it would be so interesting to calculate the total cost of my day to day face. Especially since I'm going to New York next month and will most likely purchase a bunch of products that I've been lusting over but are a little too pricey on this side of the pond! The comparison might be fun to do when I'm back.

So here goes:
            Claris Daily Energiser Cream (I use it as a primer) - £21.00

            Nars Sheer Glow Foundation - £31.00

            Real Techniques Buffing Brush - £21.99 (Part of Core Collection)

            Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer - £7.99

            Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer - £7.99

            Real Techniques Blush Brush - £9.99

            Naked Basics - £21.99

            MAC 217 - £18.00

            Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner - £6.00

            Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - £19.00

            Rimmel Stay Matte Powder - £3.99

That's a total of: £168.94

To be honest, that's not so bad! I prepared myself for it to be worse to be honest. Considering I have a few fairly expensive pieces like the Nars Foundation and Two Faced Mascara that's not too bad. During the week when I have to do my make-up before dashing out the door I try to use the same thing for more than one step in my routine, for instance, I use the Naked basics for my eyeshadow and eyebrows so that cuts the cost slightly I guess!

I'd be interested to know how much it comes to on the weekend when I have more time to be creative with my make-up. Maybe I'll do that next! I'd love to know what your daily face costs too, is it more expensive than mine?

Love always,
Melissa


18 October 2015


The penultimate episode to my first ever month of my Celebrity style mixer is here. And I honestly struggled so much with this one, I have the majority of an outfit it's just the shoes and accessories to tick off. Which you'd think would be the easiest part, but so far I'm creating a Sandy from Grease -esque ensemble with leather jeans and a flowy, off the shoulder boho top. What we add next could make or break the outfit. And what's worse is the world of celebrities have been mysterious low-key this week, the only pictures which surfaced the wide web were red carpets and gala events. Not ideal when you're trying to tie together a fairly casual outfit!

So in the end I decided to leave shoes until next week and go for an item that, I personally have used a lot this week now that the weather is much, much cooler. A jacket. And the favourite one I've seen this week is by Jennifer Lawrence.

Jennifer is such a role model when it comes to fashion, the fact that she's a celebrity doesn't phase her  when making fashion choices. She's happy to pop to the super market in sweats, just like every non-celebrity person. She's probably the most down to earth, real celebrity that I've never met! I appreciate that about her. However when she makes an effort, something that I have little time to do, she does it properly. In particular though, this outfit from Monday is great. The black top and trousers is brought to live by the huge pop of colour by her jacket. The trench styles coat is really on trend this season and it's really easy to get a hold of...



This coat so similar to Jennifers, it's just missing the buttons down the sides (this uses poppers instead). It's wool meaning it's going to keep you lovely and cosy but looking great too. The length is a little long for me, it would swamp me and make me look shorter than I am. But if you're on the taller side this would be great! I love the colour, it's a pinky tan which is a great all year round colour for a coat. I also think it would liven up our October style mixer outfit and take the edge off of the leather trousers!


Zara - Masculine Coat - £59.99

If, like me, you're more of a timeless, monochrome wardrobe sort of person, this jacket would be better. It's shorter than the Boohoo one meaning it's a good all-rounder for every body shape and height but you still have the lapel collar like on Jennifers version. And grey goes with everything, so win, win!


What do you think, there's just one more week of my Octover Celebrity style mixer and shoes are the last thing to cross off! What do you reckon will go best? I'm thinking a pointed, patent boot like Nina's ones from last weeks post. 

Love always,
Melissa


16 October 2015


Since I was 18 I have been working on the Lingerie department for one of the countries leading department stores. Aside from the bottomless bra and knicker draw I have acquired since working there for the past 5 years, I have managed to develop a rather strong knowledge on bra's and the importance of them fitting correctly. So as part of my Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, this week I wanted to talk to you about correctly fitting bra's and how you can tell if you're wearing the wrong size.

First up, did you know 80% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra? True fact, throughout the 30 hours I work every week I probably do on average 20 - 25 bra fits and the amount of them being from people who have never been fitted before is quite overwhelming.

A wrongly fitting bra could: 
  • Cause uncomfortable back, neck and shoulder pain.
  • Cause you to develop Mastitis, where the breasts become inflamed, lumpy and painful.
  • Stretch the tissue, ultimately leading to droopier, less perky breasts. 
  • Cause red marks and bruises.
As a teenager, it was never made apparent to me how important it was to be wearing the correct size bra. It wasn't until I got my first part time job that I learnt how to bra fit myself and mustered up the courage to get fitted by a professional. And might I say it was quite the life changer. Honestly though, what a properly fitted bra can do to your confidence and posture is incredible, especially when you haven't got great body confidence! 

I went from wearing a 32C to a 28E, which granted sounds like more than it is but the effect the support from the correct size has on your shape is a huge confidence booster. And it wasn't until wearing a bra that actually fit that I realised how horrible and uncomfortable my old bra's were.

So for those of you who haven't been fitted or think you might be wearing the wrong size here is a little questionnaire that will tell you whether your bra is fitting the way it should:
  1. Can you pull the band more that 1.5inches (3 fingers) away from your back?
  2. Does the band rise up your back?
  3. Does the breast bulge or swim in the cup?
  4. Are the straps digging into your shoulders?
  5. Do the straps slide off your shoulders?
  6. Do the wires on your chest rest on your breast tissue?
  7. Do the wires poke you underneath the arms?
If you said yes to any of those questions, however minor they sound I urge you to go and get measured because the bra you are wearing doesn't fit the way it should be. It could just be the style of the bra isn't right for you but it could be the size too and a professional opinion will be able to guide you in the right direction! 

If you're a little shy or not yet convinced, I've put together a checklist of the 5 things you need to look  for to ensure your bra fits perfectly when purchasing new ones, that will be up this time next week so be sure to look out for that. In the meantime, if you haven't already you can check out last week's post about Breast Cancer Awareness here. If you would like to donate to aid research and support for those struggling with Breast Cancer, you can visit the official Breast Cancer Awareness website here.

Love always,
Melissa


14 October 2015


I am all about the segment and trilogy posts lately, my Back To School segment in September was so fun to write and I think I received more feedback about those 4 posts than I have any of my posts in the past 18 months that I've been blogging! My Breast Cancer Awareness themed posts this month have been good too, I'm most excited about the next three posts I have planned for that, they're so different from anything I've so this far! And then I'm introducing a 'Favourites for Fall' Segment too where I, shock horror, tell you my fall favourites. So lets jump staright in...


Rimmel London in Caramel Cupcake and Pearly Queen

I always mention Rimmel London in my nail posts because for the longest time in my life I would only use Rimmel Nail polishes because their super wide brush cut nail painting time in half. I love having painted nails but doing the painting is my least favourite thing to do!

These two shades aren't your average fall shades, they're not dark and they're not matte so really they're not the obvious choices for this time of year. Caramel Cupcake, despite what you see in the picture (my photography skills are far from good) is a dark, musky nude. In fact, I mentioned it in my 'Top 5 Nude Nails' post in September. It's a great choice for fall if, for some reason, you're not allowed to wear nail polish, school or work etc. It's nude but it's got warm grey tones in it which get you in the mood for autumn. Pearly Queen, on the other hand, is similar to 'Hemlock' by Illamasqua, it's a holographic nail shade. Turn your hand one way it's pink, turn your hand the other it's a turquoise green. It kind of makes me think of the tree's changing colour but in a much more wearable way.


Sulk by 17 and Watermelon by Barry M

Now these shades make me think of fireworks night! Watermelon is a beautiful dark, aqua blue shade whilst Sulk is basically all that but with a shimmer added into the mix. These colours remind me of cold nights wrapped in scarves and gloves, snuggled underneath sparkling skies. I haven't picked these shades up to use yet this season, but I know I'll have cracked them open by the time November 5th rolls around!


Rimmel London in Black Cherries and Barry M in Cappucino

These are probably the most tradition fall shades, Cappucino is similar to one of the new Daylight Curing shades by Barry M, just a touch murkier and darker. I've worn Black Cherries the most out of all of these shades so far this season. I have a thing about wearing burgundy shades at the moment, my jumpers, my socks are all burgundy and my nails haven't missed out on this! I love how dark it is, there's something about dark shades at this time of year that make me feel all warm, cosy and slightly festive inside. Does anyone else get that?

Anyway, that's it from me for today. Have you got any good recommendations for some good fall themed nail shades? I have a dew still to get through but I'm desperate for a rusty orange shade, I'd love your recommendations if you have any!

Love always,
Melissa