I’m learning lots of interesting things in my new job at The Body Shop. It’s really great learning such interesting little tricks to primping and preening the body and mind.
A most amazing discovery, in my opinion, that I came across the other day is the nail polishing block. Apparently chemists sell them but Body Shop has this fantastic four sides rectangle that features a nail file side, ridge/abductor smoothing side, another finer smoothing side, and a polishing side.
I tried using them on myself quickly one day but apparently didn’t out enough heart into it to work out the benefit of using it. Then a full-timer from Brisbane showed me how to use it properly. He started on side 2 and rubbed the ridge/abductor smoother rigorously (but not to the point that it hurt) on the nail for about a minute or two, making sure he smoothed as close to the quick and side of the nail as possible. He then repeated the process using the other two sides.
The result, a super smooth, shiny nail that looked like I had painted a couple of layers of polish onto. It looked amazing. I’ve always had nails that catch and peal very easily but my super buffed nails have been perfect since Tuesday. I swear even the colour looks better. For $7 odd dollars a nail buffer is a worthy investment!
On Sunday I entered a fashion blogging competition being run by local shopping centre, Castletown. The prize is a year-long fashion blogger position with the centre, an iPad 2, a 6-month gym membership and $400 in centre gift vouchers (which I think is something you receive monthly).
I have until lunch time on Friday to create blog posts (preferably relevant to stores in the centre) and gain votes on my biography. 10 semi-finalists will be chosen (5 judges choice, 5 top Facebook people’s choice) and will have to make a fashion video in Universal Store. Next the semi-finalists will be cut down to 5 (3 judges choice, 2 Facebook choices) and will each write a feature article which will then be judged by the panel of judges and a winner will be picked.
Below are the blogs I’ve created so far.
Blog #1: Coloured Denim
You’ve probably all heard of colour-blocking by now; combining bright coloured separates to create a fun summer look that is sure to brighten your day. One way to rock this look is with coloured denim. I’m not just talking about a slight green or purple tinge either. I’m talking bold red, emerald-green and, for those who are a bit shy, cobalt blue.
Coloured jeans or shorts are a great way to get into the colour-blocking trend if your wardrobe leans more towards the neutral tones. Pair coloured jeans with white or black like the celebs below to add a bit of zing to your outfit. From here it’s all about having fun and experimenting. For blue jeans or shorts, try a nice shade of orange on top, red jeans call for a rich purple hue, while green jeans will go nicely something yellow.
Just focus on the primary colours and don’t overload the colour palette! Stick with 2 to 3 block colours to avoid looking like a circus freak. Once you’ve worked out your colour scheme accent the look with neutral tones for a chic, fashion-forward look.
Blog #2: The Little Black Ensemble
We all have a beloved little black dress that is one of the best investments we’ve ever made. Well how about a Little Black Ensemble? Not only can you mix and match it with other items in your bursting wardrobe, but it also gives off the illusion of a LBD with a slightly different texture.
I’m talking about finding a fantastic, sparkly top to pair with a fitted black skirt. In other words, channelling Selena Gomez’s style from the Abduction premiere. Yes, some may turn their nose up at the girl because she’s inevitably linked to the Biebs; but you’ve got to give the girl credit for her amazing sense of style. She pairs a black sparkly tee with a black suede mini skirt, t-strap heels, amazing gold earrings and sleek yet simple hair–perfection.
If you ever need an outfit you can run out the door in, this would be it! Not to dressy, but still very sexy and glam. Plus the sparkly top means you don’t need much jewellery, which is less time spend fiddling around in your tangled up jewellery box. And if you can’t find a sparkly tee then simply substitute it for black lace.
The Little Black Ensemble as inspired by Selena Gomez
Blog #3: Ombre Nails
Fashion is about how you put together a look that showcases your personality, not just clothes. Obviously there are several ways we do this: styling our hair, adorning ourselves in jewellery, applying make-up, as well as painting our nails. Colour is basically the ‘it’ word of 2011: not only is spring/summer all about colour, but colour is also remaining in the limelight at autumn/winter fashion weeks around the globe at the moment (an even better excuse to buy loads of colourful clothes, if you ask me).
A great way to compliment this look is with nail polish. Ombre nails are on the rise and are a fun trend to try. This nail look involves painting each nail on your hand a different colour, all within the same colour group. You need 5 different colours of polish for ombre nails and one of the best nail polish brands on the market at the moment is O.P.I., which you can buy it from Harrison’s Pharmacy. Otherwise Target stocks Chi Chi nail polish (a large yet affordable colour range), while Big W stocks Maybelline Mini Colourama (they’re small but come in super bright hues). What are you waiting for? Get painting!
Blog #4: Espadrilles
As much as I love a good heel, I must admit that I start walking abnormally when I wear a stiletto over 10cm high. Solution? Wedges! For those girls who have a hard time walking in heels, wedges are a god-send. I’m addicted because I have no problem walking wedges of any height and it means I can get a much-needed 15cm boost.
Of course there’s an abundance of colourful shoes doing the rounds at the moment, but one specific type of wedge to invest in is the espadrille. Espadrilles have a cotton upper and rope moulded around the heel; they’re perfect wedge for a smart casual lunch at the strand, or for a hot summer’s night out. Not to mention, heaps of celebrities have been seen rocking them such as Lea Michele, Kristin Cavallari, and Jennifer Aniston.
You can find both of the espadrilles in the photo from Novo in Castletown. Pretty, colourful floral dresses & lots of jewellery will go perfectly with the watermelon espadrilles; while crisp white shorts, a loose fitted neutral colour of top and a fedora will compliment the floral pair. Hurry and grab the fun colours before they all sell out–trust me, your feet will thank you!
Accessories are vital if you want to make an outfit pop and one of the simplest ways of doing this is adding a great belt. Right now, both Witchery and Forever New have a great range of belts available at the moment.
Witchery has the perfect belts for adding a splash of colour to an outfit–especially if you’re rocking the white trend. Both the yellow studded belt and the slim orange belt are great sizes and very chic.
Forever New has some great neutral coloured belts which will compliment colour blocking outfits. The brown belt offers some lovely detailing on the buckle and the cream belt has a great little tassel on it. Grab a bag in the same colour as your belt and you’re ready to go.
My two favourites of the belts pictured are the yellow studded Witchery belt, which is just a little bit funkier than your average belt, and the cream tassel Forever New belt, which is super feminie and also a little bit different.
What’s even better is all of these belts are under $50–bargain!
Blog #6: Bag it!
Just like clothes, a girl can never have enough bags. Two types of bags available from Forever New and Witchery in Castletown at the moment are the box clutch as well as lovely summer totes.
Box clutches have made a comeback ever since designers such as Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta brought out a large amazing range in previous seasons. They’re a great clutch to protect all your valuables and are easily held onto during a hot summer’s night out. Witchery’s Asha Peanut Clutch has a great texture to it and comes in a lovely cream that will compliment all those bright colourful summer outfits nicely. Forever New’s Mischa Embellished Clutch has some gorgeous beading to add some sparkle into your outfit. Pair this clutch with the lovely tassel belt from my previous blog post and you’re good to go. Both of these clutches are under $70.
Everyone needs a great beach bag for all those hot days spent relaxing by the ocean in the summer. A pretty canvas tote is a must-have for beach perfection. While Witchery’s Holly Canvas Tote may be simple, the bag is a lovely shape with rope detailed handles. However if you like bags that are a bit busier, Forever New’s Ipanema Tote is a great multi-colour stripe pattern and features a drawstring and a big front pocket for the essentials. Whichever bag you choose, both are under $80 and are a great investment for the summer.
Box clutches and beach totes
Blog #7: Androgynous man style
Androgynous dressing is in–men have stolen our skinny jeans and now it’s our time for the ladies to steal men’s style and suit up! Think button up long sleeved tops, well-structured pants and sexy pumps. Women of all shapes and sizes can do man-style dressing, it’s simply a matter of getting the cut.
If you’ve got a straight up and down figure then slim fit pants, stilettos and a crisp button up will make you look like you stepped off the runway. For those with womanly curves, a wider leg pant, chunky heel to match and a flowy button up will give you a chic and balanced look.
You can wear this look in all manner of colours and balance out masculinity with feminine accessories. For a chic look that’s not too out there, mix nude and black pumps, black pants, a white button up and add a bright red bag. However, if you want to be bold, pick a jacket or pants in a bright colour and mix it with black, white and beige accessories.
So if you want to give the man-style a go there are a couple of shops in Castletown that can set you up. First up is Cue, who has a great range of pants and man-style tops on offer. If you don’t have a big budget then Supré and Ally both have a good range of shirts available and in some lovely colours. So suit up, ladies! It’s time to beat the boys at their own game.
Blog #8: Swatch watches
Brighten up you day with a colourful watch from Swatch! Swatch watches are moderately priced and the range available is huge. I suggest grabbing a couple in your favourite colours so you always have one to match your outfit.
They’re currently available from the JBD Diamond Centre and come in a range of sizes to suit your preference. These watches are perfect to colour block with; just match them with a similar or contrasting coloured belt and clutch and you’re ready to go (on time).
If you’re feeling really bold then Swatch also does a range of watches with coloured faces and zebra print bands–extremely funky and perfect for extroverted girls.
Don’t worry if coloured watches isn’t your thing, JBD has a range of Swatches with metal and leather bands too.
My fingers are crossed for the next couple of stages of the competition. Wish me luck!