Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lighten Up

I'm very pleased to announce that today, I was able to ponce-about in this outfit, and I wasn't even cold. Not once. The sun is out and the time for lighter-weight attire is nigh. While I suppose there will be those of you reading this from say, up to 30 degrees longitude either side of the equator, likely thinking so what, this is a big deal for us up here in the Highlands. We rejoice when the time of year comes where the gale force winds calm down a relatively balmy 7 or 8 on the Beaufort Scale, so this is practically nirvana. So what indeed.

I wanted something slouchy and tomboyish today because,'s me, but I also wanted it to be pulled-together enough to make it socially acceptable to run around in. I keep seeing photos online of people pairing shorts with heels, but for me, I have a hard time making this work. I think because I have quite an athletic frame, when I add girly pumps with my shorts,  I feel like I'm just one bad blue eyeshadow job away from looking like an overgrown kid who is trying on her mother's shoes and makeup with her play clothes. That said, I can usually manage to make a pair of slightly edgier, heeled sandals work with shorts. Probably because they are less delicate. Whatever the reason,  they seemed to work today, so let's just go with it, shall we?

Thrifted Gap sweater, similar / thrifted Marks & Spencer blouse, similar / Forever 21 eyelet shorts (old), similar / Dune sandals (old), similar

Lighten Up!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Silver (internet) Surfer

You may or may not be familiar with the Marvel Comics character The Silver Surfer, but there can be no doubt that superheroes are having a bit of a moment right now. Everyone from Spiderman to Loki has been down the red carpet lately, but there is one superheroine that for whatever reason, was left off of the cast list. 

The Silver Internet Surfer, though technically not in possession of the same vast superhuman strength, Godlike stamina, total indestructibility, or cosmic power that is attributed to her more well-known counterpart, has a few tricks up her sleeve as well. Sure, she can't rearrange molecules of matter into other configurations, but she's read a bunch of feng shui articles online and will soon tell you why that tapestry ottoman would look better over next to the Chippendale Queen Anne sofa.  

For her efforts, the superhero community has turned its back on her, relegating her to the fringes of society in the Scottish West Highlands, where it is unseasonably warm today. As a result, she has selected a simple, monochromatic look in her signature colour. She prefers minimalistic accessories with this ensemble, as the subtle metallic sheen of the top is more than enough for a weekday afternoon. She reckons that to add a cape to this would just be gauche.  

thrifted sleeveless top, similar / gray skater skirt (old), similar / silver gladiator sandals (old), similar / sterling silver cuff (old), similar

Make Silver Happen.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fashion Imitates Life Imitates Art

This week, the internet was particularly generous to those of us with vivid imaginations. Here are my picks from the cast list of this week's top-billed players... 

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard as Spy Vs. Spy

An ASOS Leg Harness  as  Lara Croft

Rita Ora as Captain America

Rumer Willis in her first supporting role *rimshot* as a hernia truss

Tom Hiddleston as Edgar Allan Poe

Mariah Carey as Jessica Rabbit

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Q: Do Men Like Red Lipstick?

A:  Who the hell cares? It's awesome. 

A bit of work, yes, but awesome nonetheless. I recently took to wearing a red lip again. I was big into it in the 90s (as we all were, in a burgundy sort of way), but had sort of laid it aside for lower-maintenance shades, glosses, tints, and whatnot as we moved into the 2000's. I am back on the bandwagon again after years of the smoky eye and nude lip (which I also still love). However, a red lip does require maintenance; there are many dangers lurking beneath its placid scarlet surface. Wine glasses, teeth, shirt collars, and...well, you know, whatever things you might come into contact with basically risk looking like The Victim from the opening three minutes of the first scene of Your Favourite Network TV Crime Drama.

Actually, the few men that I did ask about the red lip (not exactly a stellar research sampling population, I know) did say that they in fact do like a red lip, if it is in the right context and shall we say...tidy? So yes, you have to touch-up throughout the evening, and you just have to be okay with that if you want to wear a red lip.

I really want to stress here that there is no such thing as a lipstick that doesn't come off, no matter what anyone says. Remember in the 90s when Revlon first came out with their Colorstay lipstick and they featured Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer as a spokesperson? On the advert, she was sexily claiming that Colorstay lipstick never came off on her saxophone reed. I would like to officially cry shenanigans on that one. I made a living as a saxophonist for years, and ruined many a reed with my 90s vampire lips. Not that it ever kept me from wearing it, mind you. My point is, it simply cannot be done. There is just no substitute for maintenance.

The consensus then, is that with a little due diligence, the red lip is a look that always makes an impact (and I mean that in a good way). Here are my two favourite permutations of the red lip, done with the same tube of Maybelline Fatal Red.

The Classic red lip is utter perfection if you are planning on wearing a little black dress. I like to make it the focus of my face, making sure that my skin tone looks as even as possible, and use just a swipe of black liquid liner and a coat of mascara on my top lashes only. If I do wear any eyeshadow, I make it of the white sheer pearly variety. That's it. Any more and The Classic becomes The Robert Palmer Girl.  That can be fun too if that's what you're going for, although I find stopping at The Classic is most often all you need. To get this look, I use a liner first (either red or nude...doesn't seem to matter much), then fill-in slowly by dabbing the lipstick on and blotting off. Layer up like that, and finish off the top layer with a lipstick brush to get that high-lacquer shine.

The berry enthusiast is essentially an everyday look you can do with any shade of lipstick. It does work remarkably well with a true red, as shown here. All you need on the rest of you face is just a bit of a once-over for your skin tone (tinted moisturiser, concealer, mineral powder, what have you) a flick of mascara, and you're good to go. The lipstick is just dabbed lightly on your lips and blotted into a stain (I use my fingers). The edges are not perfect (no liner!), hence the "I've just eaten a pint of raspberries" look.

Make Red Happen.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The £20 Nude Goddess Dress

In a convergence of universal forces that simply cannot be scientifically explained, two of my favourite things ever met in the aisles of a Glasgow TK Maxx this week.  Greek mythology and bargain hunting are now officially having an affair.

This is an Amanda Wakeley draped cocktail dress, crafted in nude silk. I found it sort of wadded-up at the very end of the sale rack looking sad, with absolutely zero hanger appeal to recommend itself to anyone. I think it was missing a belt. Who cares? I took one look at it's bones, checked the label, and saw that it was a draped, Grecian-inspired dress.  If you are tall and athletic and not always comfortable in hyper-girly evening wear, the Grecian-inspired dress is an excellent choice. It hides a multitude of sins and always looks elegant. Needless to say, I grabbed it and went Gollum-scampering back to the dressing rooms. My precious. 

I always have loved the principals behind the Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology - it's like the ancient version of separation and division of labour. There's Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, Dionysis, God of High Spirits, Strong Emotions, and Wine (yes!), Poseidon for the sea (and horses !?), and so on and so forth. At least back in those days, if you had an issue, you knew what department to direct your query to. I've been thinking about it, and although most of the good jobs have already been taken, if I were a Greek goddess, I would like to be Veggiedipodes, Goddess of Healthy Vegetarian Snack Foods. It's not the sea, but it's an important job. The people need snacks.

Amanda Wakely Grecian silk dress (not available any longer online), similar / Via Spiga shoes (old), similar

This post has been happily shared with Not Dead Yet Style

Now go, mortal! Find thee a Grecian dress, for it is the will of Veggiedipodes.

And the Winner Is....

Happy Easter everyone! I'm pleased to announce that the winner of the Smile Brilliant Ross Effect Giveaway is....

Myriam Bén Ncir!

Myriam, you will have already gotten an email from me with instructions on how to collect your prize. Congratulations, and thank you all for participating. Smile on, people! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Brief Interval for an Interview

Gawd, is that a pretentious title for a post or what!? A Brief Interval....sorry about that. I think I got carried away with the alliteration and forgot myself for a moment.

No matter. This week, Sylvia over at 40+ Style was very kind to interview me and run it on her blog. The subject matter? Finding your personal style. You can read the full interview here.

             Or here.

                                 Or even over here

And while we're at it, as embarrassing as this is, I feel I must add that in the interview, I state that I am 41 years old. That, my good readers, is a bald faced lie. I am 42. When I gave the interview, I actually believed that I was 41 years old. In fact, I went the better part of last year believing I was 41 when I was 42. I blame being on an overnight shift on my birthday as the reason for my lapse, but regardless of the root cause, the simple truth is that I forgot my own age. I am officially on the slippery slope, and I'm wearing a pair of five-inch banana peel wedges. One stiff wind (or stiff drink, more likely), and I'm off the precipice for good. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Awesome Funky Giftwrap LBD

I got this Thakoon silk dress a few years ago.  In a massive departure from my usual approach to seeking sartorial goodies, it was not on sale, thrifted, Ebayed, or arrived upon in any other treasure-hunted, bargain friendly way. I ordered it right from the design house after seeing it online, so great was my need to have this dress. It is probably my favourite thing in my closet, I love it so. And yes, it needs to be steamed, but not as much as you might think. That sort of draped, gift wrapped appearance is actually on purpose.

I love that it looks like that one awkwardly-shaped Christmas package that you just have to sort of drape the wrapping paper around (It's a bread machine! No, automatic pancake maker!) The wrapping paper just happens to be silk taffeta in this instance.

I think it spoke to me so much because it seems to be a kind of a juxtaposition of something that is a bit undone made up in a fancy-schmancy fabrication and using some pretty slick dressmaking techniques.

It's super fun to wear. Super. Fun. A little red lipstick is all that is required, as the dress has such funky lines, I don't bother accessorising a lot. And you know what else? The really, really great thing? Backless butt bow!

I have been waiting my entire life to have the occasion to write the words backless butt bow in print, and that moment has finally arrived. Where to go from here? I feel a bit lost, actually.

Thakoon silk plunge dress (no longer available), similar / Stuart Weitzman shoes

Baby Got Back. And Bow. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Complete And Utter Rubbish

This is the kind of stuff that sends people right down the sweatpants rabbit hole - that kind of fine, misty, relentless Scottish weather that no matter how you dress or what precautions you might take, you find yourself soaked from head to toe should you be so bold as to attempt to take out the trash or walk the dog. Why bother? Forget silk. Forget suede. Forget everything you had intended to bring out of your closet today. This sucks.

On days like today, the challenge is actually less the weather and more the ability to resist the tractor beam-like vortex of the yoga pant. Here is today's solution, which incidentally happens to be more comfortable anyway. No need to sacrifice your self respect for the sake of the habitually bad weather. Heck, you don't even have to take your headphones off. See?

Oh, and don't forget to enter the Smile Brilliant giveaway, which ends one week from today! Enter by clicking here.!

Thrifted sweatshirt, similar / Calvin Klein skirt (old), similar / Converse One Star Shoes / Sony headphones / Thrifted Necklace (old), similar

Make it Happen. Maybe Without the Weather. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Now It's Your Turn

You will all no doubt still have the images of this week's foray into at-home teeth whitening seared onto your memories (some of you may have even have enlisted the help of a licensed therapist to help you cope with the images you have witnessed here on the blog, but never mind that, this stuff works). I am happy to announce that now, you too can have the opportunity to whiten your teeth at home in such a manner. Oh the elegance! The refinement!

I Hereby Announce: The Highland Fashionista's Smile Brilliant-Ross Effect Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a Smile Brilliant at home tooth whitening kit. You can enter as many times as you like. This contest is open to absolutely everyone, regardless of country of origin. Entry details are below. The contest will run through Sunday, April 20th at high noon. That's Edinburgh (BST...British Summer) time, so set your watches accordingly, and get whitening! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Ross Effect: My Wednesday Afternoon With Smile Brilliant

I'll admit, when I first agreed to trial one of Smile Brilliant's at home tooth whitening systems, I did so with more than a moment's hesitation. I have always been a bit wary when it comes to anything procedural that I perceive (true or otherwise) might have an immediate and deleterious cosmetic effect. Okay, full disclosure -  I was thinking particularly of that episode of Friends where Ross gets his teeth whitened.

I have never felt much of a need to whiten my teeth before, having never put so much as a drugstore whitening strip into my gob; this was to be uncharted territory indeed. Despite aforementioned hesitation, my desire to do just about anything for the sake of comedy won out, as it always does.

I'll admit here to being impressed with the Smile Brilliant website. It's easy to navigate, informative, and there are many different permutations of their products, designed to suit your particular lifestyle needs. I selected the LED teeth whitening pen, which promised to be both the easiest to manage (and potentially most hilarious) option.

Here is my photojournalistic documentation of my trial with Smile Brilliant. For more information and/or frequently asked questions about Smile Brilliant, you can visit their website by clicking here.

And after 30 minutes...

This product works. I only left the product on for the minimum time (as to avoid the Ross Effect), and I noticed a difference (albeit subtle) with one application. According to the directions, I should have six more applications available to me with the one pen. That's a really good deal for $39.95.

Interested in giving this one a go? Here is my advice:
  • Start "low and slow" at first and leave it on longer with subsequent applications. The directions say that if you have sensitive teeth, you should not exceed 120 minutes, and I'm inclined to believe them.
  • Place yourself in a comedy-free zone while you have the LED tray in your mouth. Communication is difficult, and laughter is damn near impossible. Insist on your husband not referring to you as "Ross" the whole time. 
  • Don't really put it on your cat. Or any other animal. (cats like to whiten with baking soda)
Bottom line - does this product work? Yes. Would I use it again and recommend it? Yep...yes I would.