Tuesday Reviews Day 13th December 2016: Get Your Glitter On (& a giveaway!)

Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

I’ve long been particular about my style and appearance.  As an early teen I remember scouring several branches of Topshop to find the belted cardigan that most resembled the one featured on the Calvin Klein catwalk (and then getting hacked off when other stores started stocking similar ones too).  Around the same time, I saved my pocket money until I could afford to go to the big department store in a nearby city to buy the just released Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat and was super chuffed when the sales assistant gave me a load of extra samples too.

Now I’m a freelance writer with an interest in fashion and beauty, I spend even more time thinking about and researching lovely things.  When I write about articles, I try to place them in their broader context and discuss their significance and meaning too.  I don’t want my work to read like a fluffed up press releases.  That said, it seems daft for me to not find a way to simply and quickly share some of the products I come across in the line of work and pleasure if I think other people might like them.

As a result, I’ve decided to introduce ‘Tuesday Reviews Day’ to my blog.  Each week’s listicle will will feature a handful of products, ranging from bargain beauty buys to best biscuits (I’m lining up a festive special on that one already!).  I’m not an affiliate so I don’t stand to gain from recommending anything that I include – every item listed is genuinely something that I think warrants a shout out.

I hope that you find this new feature both a fit of fun and useful too.  Let me know if your thoughts on what I’ve included and whether you’ve been tempted to try any!

Last week we looked at how to get festive with your appearance without losing your sense of style by using burgundy cosmetics and accessories.  This week I’d like to put forward another perennial Christmas trend: glitter.  Anything that shimmers or sparkles seems fair game in December but it doesn’t have to be dramatic or gaudy.  There are lots of easy ways to add a bit of fairy dust to your outfits without looking like you’ve fallen off the top of a heavily decorated tree!

One style I love is a suggestion from this month’s Harper’s Bazaar to just add a glittery nail varnish around the crescent and one edge of each nail.  I don’t have the manicure skills to pull this off myself but am sure many of you out there can, or you could ask your beautician to create the effect for you.

WAH nail varnish in Roma's Ruin & Schrager's Touch || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
WAH nail varnish in Roma’s Ruin & Schrager’s Touch || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

Even full on glitter nails, whether on one finger, several or all of them, is a nod to the sparkly trend without too great a commitment.  Some sheer glitter nail varnishes look great over the top of other colours but if you’re looking for a standalone polish then check out WAH‘s offerings.  This brand du jour, with a newly opened must-visit nail salon in Soho, has two outstanding options in this field, classic gold (Roma’s Ruin) and silver (Schragers Touch).  They retail at £9 each and both are densely packed with pieces of glitter that you can build up thin layer at a time to amazing effect.

 

GIVEAWAY!

I like these two products so much that I’m going to offer them in my first Tuesday Reviews Day giveaway!  If you’d like to win both Roma’s Ruin and Schragers Touch, then simply share one of my blog posts on social media over the next 24 hours (and tag me so that I see it) and you will be entered into the prize draw.  I’ll select a winner at 21:00 GMT on Wednesday evening.

[The giveaway winner is Jill Axon]

Glitter giveaway! || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Glitter giveaway! || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Blush Sparkle

I’ll also include in the giveaway another little product that’s great for adding a bit of Christmas sparkle to your look.  I picked up a Blush Sparkle pot of Fine Snow White Sparkles  (£3.50) at the Clothes Show Live recently.  There were numerous stalls offering similar goods but what stood out for me was the subtle look that the stallholders themselves were demonstrating.  Rather than full on bling, their products were used gently as highlighter, eyeshadow and lip covering.  Also the sparkles themselves are really teeny tiny and fine, although Blush Sparkle does offer a chunkier range too (as well as lots of different colours – there’s something for everyone on their website).  Simply apply a thin smear of Vaseline then add the glitter as you wish on top.  Simple, sparkle.

Dune shoes || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Dune shoes || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

My personal favourite way of wearing glitter is on my feet.  If you’re uncertain about trying out a new trend of any sort, shoes are a good way in, allowing you to nod to a new look without the full on commitment of a head-to-toe outfit.  Almost two years ago I splashed out on some flat sparkly shoes from Dune and they’ve pepped up many a party outfit since.  If you’re looking for a pair this Christmas then Kurt Geiger is the place to go.  They’ve everything from flats to heels with bows – even sparkly trainers.  If I didn’t have my silver numbers then I’d definitely be tempted by their block heel gold ones.

 

 

Goodwill bag || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Goodwill bag || Get Your Glitter On || Tuesday Reviews Day 13-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

Like shoes, another easy way to integrate a bit of glitter into your wardrobe is with a bag.  My beaded purse, covered in small pearls, sparkles all year round but particularly gets used in December.  I picked it up at a Goodwill store but obviously charity shops don’t have guaranteed stock!  A good alternative is to look on Ebay, where you’ll find hundreds listed under glittery, sparkly or metallic bag.  They don’t have to be evening bags either.  Last week I spied a woman in Friends House Cafe toting a beautiful silver leather shopping bag that was ideal for daytime; upon enquiry I learnt it was from Kin by John Lewis but alas it’s not this season and I can’t track it down (purely for research purposes, of course!).  I regret not asking to take a picture of this beaut as it just goes to show that in December at least you can get your glitter on any time of the day or night.  Make the most of this time to sparkle.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

 

 

 

Tuesday Reviews Day 6th December 2016: Red, red wine

I’ve long been particular about my style and appearance.  As an early teen I remember scouring several branches of Topshop to find the belted cardigan that most resembled the one featured on the Calvin Klein catwalk (and then getting hacked off when other stores started stocking similar ones too).  Around the same time, I saved my pocket money until I could afford to go to the big department store in a nearby city to buy the just released Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat and was super chuffed when the sales assistant gave me a load of extra samples too.

Now I’m a freelance writer with an interest in fashion and beauty, I spend even more time thinking about and researching lovely things.  When I write about articles, I try to place them in their broader context and discuss their significance and meaning too.  I don’t want my work to read like a fluffed up press releases.  That said, it seems daft for me to not find a way to simply and quickly share some of the products I come across in the line of work and pleasure if I think other people might like them.

As a result, I’ve decided to introduce ‘Tuesday Reviews Day’ to my blog.  Each week’s listicle will will feature a handful of products, ranging from bargain beauty buys to best biscuits (I’m lining up a festive special on that one already!).  I’m not an affiliate so I don’t stand to gain from recommending anything that I include – every item listed is genuinely something that I think warrants a shout out.

I hope that you find this new feature both a fit of fun and useful too.  Let me know if your thoughts on what I’ve included and whether you’ve been tempted to try any!

Last week, we had the five items I’ve been most complimented on this season.  This week, my thoughts have turned to the festive season.  I’m not talking about actual red wine, nor the UB40 song with the title that inspired my choice of wording.  This column is about some red wine coloured goodies that can help you to feel Christmassy without loosing a sense of style.  If you’d rather avoid a cheap scratchy jumper or anything else marketed as ‘novelty’ for December then these four ideas might help…

Burgundy shoes || Tuesday Reviews Day 06-12-2016 || raeritchie.com
Burgundy shoes || Tuesday Reviews Day 06-12-2016 || raeritchie.com

Burgundy shoes 

A dark red shoe make a great nod to the festivities while also being a pair that you can wear during other seasons too; I actually picked up these shoe boots from Office back in February and have worn them throughout the year but I think they’ll come into their own this month.  Choose comfortable ones and you can easily substitute them for your regular black pair across the days of December as well as the nights too.

Mine are no longer available but Office has a huge selection in a similar hue and price (c £68).  My particular favourites are their Chelsea boots, patent loafers and – if you’re looking for a definite party shoe – velvet bow mules.

 

Nails Inc. Victoria after four days wear || Tuesday Reviews Day 06-12-16 || raeritchie.com
Nails Inc. Victoria after four days wear || Tuesday Reviews Day 06-12-16 || raeritchie.com

Dark nail varnish

In the picture above I’m wearing peacock green nail varnish on my feet but in the weeks ahead I’ll be donning a dark number that tones with the open toe boots.  I recently stumbled upon Nails Inc’s Victoria (£14), which is a very dark maroon shade.  Two thin coats (and no top coat) on my fingernails dried pretty quickly and lasted four days before they chipped so if you’re looking for a reasonably priced varnish for your hands you could do much worse than this one!

Nars Red Lizard lipstick

An old favourite of mine is Nars Red Lizard Semi Matte Lipstick (£21).  Generally I love Nars lip products as they all have a great level of pigment meaning even strong colours stay put without constant attention and touching up.  This shade is an old fashioned hue in the best way – one slick and I feel like a 1940s film star.  If you don’t normally wear make-up but fancy a bit of playing with colour for Christmas, this is an easy way in. Smudge it on with your finger for a less dense effect.

Gung Ho flower earrings || Tuesday Reviews Day 06-12-16 || raeritchie.com
Gung Ho flower earrings || Tuesday Reviews Day 06-12-16 || raeritchie.com

Go Gung Ho

Last week I interviewed Sophie Dunster, the creator of new ethical fashion label Gung Ho Design.  While in her studio, I kept getting distracted by the rail of awesome flower earrings that were on display and I couldn’t leave without getting myself a pair of gold hoops adorned with red roses (£15 although price varies depending on size of earrings).  My Christmas party outfit planning will start with these beauties and work downwards!  You can shop Gung Ho here.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

Sunday Suggestions 4th December 2016

Sunday Suggestions: a round up of things to read, watch, listen to and do
Sunday Suggestions 4th December 2016 || raeritchie.com

Welcome back to my regular series with suggestions of awesome people and things to check out, read, participate in and follow.  Today’s post is an eclectic mix but I couldn’t resist any of these!  There’s some ideal Sunday morning listening.  As is common, there’s some fashion and beauty.  There are also two links showcasing two very different women’s lives as well as a heartwarming example of community resistance from the New York subway.  Finally, because I’ve realised I like to end with a funny video, there’s a great clip of a little girl and an Irish dancer.  Enjoy!

  • Listen: Boat To Row

Boat To Row are an awesome band from my home town.  They have a modern folksy town, with great instrumentation and lovely lyrics.  Handily for this blog post, they are ideal Sunday morning listening.  You can listen to them here.

  • Read: Different perspectives on fashion & beauty

Like so much good stuff in life, fashion and beauty are paradoxes: we should take them both less seriously and more seriously.  Here are some links from both perspectives…

Sali Hughes’ new beauty book, Pretty Iconic, was the first item on my Christmas list this year.  Writing for The Pool this week, she nails the pleasure and camaraderie that getting ready for a night out can give us.  I especially love this because there’s a tendency to talk about beauty very seriously, forgetting that it can be a huge source of playfulness, fun and bonding between women too. There’s even academic research on this very topic.

At the other genuinely serious end of the fashion and beauty spectrum, I’ve spotted a couple of articles this week about ethical consumption: one on cruelty free beauty brands and the other (again from The Pool) on sustainable approaches to Christmas shopping.

And because who can resist a listicle, here are two that have caught my eye recently:

Ten fashion bloggers who are also journalists (I guess I fall under this heading too, although haven’t quite made it into this round up!).

12 of the most fashionable films (my partner and I have decided to make Sunday night a film night so this has given me some examples that I definitely want to follow up).

  • Inspiration: two different women’s lives & a tale from the NYC subway

Last Sunday I spent the cold and grey afternoon curled up on the sofa watching the snooker (is there anything else on TV as relaxing?  Even the commentary is whispered).  I was excited to notice that the umpire of one of the matches was a woman.  It’s always great to spot women at the top echelons of sport in any capacity, but it seemed particularly noteworthy because this was in a high level match between two men.  I can’t imagine a woman referee at a Premier League football match or Six Nations rugby game.  I looked her up and her name is Tatiana Woollaston.  You can read her story here.

Another inspiring woman is my new friend Shona Macpherson, who bravely and openly shares about her coming to terms with a life she hadn’t imagined.  Definitely one to make you think.

From two individuals to a moment of community: one woman shares how a group of strangers came together on the New York City subway to resist the current climate of political fear and hatred.  It’s a Facebook post but you should be able to see this page even if you don’t have an account.  It’ll make you want to carry an eyeliner even if you don’t wear it!

  • Finally…

I doubt you’ll see a sweeter video this week than this clip showing the moment a little girl spotted an Irish dancer in the street.  I especially love the bond that forms between them, with the dancer neither getting annoyed with the child or simply laughing at her but instead engaging her.  I just love it!

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

Tuesday Reviews Day 29th November 2016: This season’s top 5 compliment grabbers

I’ve long been particular about my style and appearance.  As an early teen I remember scouring several branches of Topshop to find the belted cardigan that most resembled the one featured on the Calvin Klein catwalk (and then getting hacked off when other stores started stocking similar ones too).  Around the same time, I saved my pocket money until I could afford to go to the big department store in a nearby city to buy the just released Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat and was super chuffed when the sales assistant gave me a load of extra samples too.

Now I’m a freelance writer with an interest in fashion and beauty, I spend even more time thinking about and researching lovely things.  When I write about articles, I try to place them in their broader context and discuss their significance and meaning too.  I don’t want my work to read like a fluffed up press releases.  That said, it seems daft for me to not find a way to simply and quickly share some of the products I come across in the line of work and pleasure if I think other people might like them.

As a result, I’ve decided to introduce ‘Tuesday Reviews Day’ to my blog.  Each week’s listicle will will feature a handful of products, ranging from bargain beauty buys to best biscuits (I’m lining up a festive special on that one already!).  I’m not an affiliate so I don’t stand to gain from recommending anything that I include – every item listed is genuinely something that I think warrants a shout out.

I hope that you find this new feature both a fit of fun and useful too.  Let me know if your thoughts on what I’ve included and whether you’ve been tempted to try any!

First up, we have the five items I’ve been most complimented on this season.

20161128_145125
Boden leopard print boots || raeritchie.com

Leopard print seems to be everywhere at the moment, which usually puts me off something.  I also usually avoid pattern, preferring plain colour.  Yet despite these two provisos, I couldn’t resist these leopard print boots from Boden.  Turns out they are popular with others too; barely a day goes by when someone doesn’t comment favourably on them. They are from the Boden children’s range but they go up to a size 42 (UK 7.5, US 8.5) so they’d fit most grown women as well.

 

 

Green Boden dress || Tuesday Reviews Day 29-11-2016 || raeritchie.com
Green Boden dress || rae ritchie

Also from Boden this season is my gorgeous green dress.  This has been a wash-and-wear favourite since the weather turned cold enough for its thick fabric.  Its stretchy material keeps its shape and doesn’t crease even after several hours in the car or on a train (you can just about get away with not ironing it either, although I tend to run one over it anyway).  Again this has garnered lots of compliments.  This may be because I’m wearing it so often but even so that just reinforces what a great dress this is!

 

Nars Matte Lip Pencil in Damned || Tuesday Reviews Day 29-11-2016 || raeirtchie.com
Nars Matte Lip Pencil in Damned || raeritchie.com

This burgundy shade is a great match with the green dress so has been getting lots of wear too.  I was inspired to get this after watching Candice and her perfect pout on the Great British Bake-Off and love the dramatic but not too dark colour.  Because it’s a pencil, and a matte one at that, it gives great coverage and it doesn’t easily slip.  I’ve not found it to be quite as long lasting as other Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils that I’ve tried but it still lasts pretty well through eating and certainly drinking.

 

 

 

Nars Matte Lip Pencil in Damned || Tuesday Reviews Day 29-11-2016 || raeritchie.com    Kevyn Aucion The Matte Lip Colour in Eternal || Tuesday Reviews Day 29-11-2016 || raeritchie.com

Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Colour in Eternal || Tuesday Reviews Day || raeritchie.com
Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Colour in Eternal || raeritchie.com

I’ve been using this for a while – I initially tried it when I wanted a matte red like Nars Dragon Girl but had got fed up with having to keep sharpening the pencil.  Women in all sorts of situations continue to ask me what it is and I’m always happy to recommend it as it isn’t a brand that you are likely to just stumble across.  At £26 it isn’t cheap but the pigment is great – you can put it on first thing and not worry about touching it up until dinner.

 

Ikea Förenkla Red Back Pack || Tuesday Reviews Day 29-11-2016 || raeritchie.com
Ikea Förenkla Red Back Pack || raeritchie.comThe

 

[NB Boss Lady badge didn’t come with the bag, this was a gift from Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes]

I love this bag!  It’s a good size – it can take everything I need for a day’s work, including my laptop, but it doesn’t look daft if it’s not full either.  There’s an internal divide as well as two side pockets and a large front one.  Like everything Ikea, the design is plain and simple but the colour is fab and I for one like the totally plain outer.  Lots of people have asked where it’s from and saying Ikea feels like we’re all in on a big secret.  Who knew they did such good bags?  Of course well priced as well; this design comes in a range of sizes, mine is the largest and costs £25.