Monday Amusements 22: The 'Help! I need to write a Christmas list' Edition

I've been too busy to read blogs for the last week as I've been redecorating! Would you like to see?

Okay, that was just a peek as it's not quite done yet - I need to empty the boxes and arrange everything to my liking. But to my great relief, the wallpaper hanging, the painting, the curtain hanging, and the carpet mending is OVER. I chose Dulux Violet White for my walls, with the exception of the "feature" chimney breast, which is Purple Pout. My curtains are from John Lewis and I'm really happy with them. In my mind, I was quite attached to the idea of having velvet curtains but I couldn't find any ready-made anywhere, so in the end I went for these, which have an almost metallic look and complement the rest of the purple stuff perfectly.

Anyway, I've been spending my free time working on my novel and occasionally sparing a few moments to look at pretty things online.

I saw this cute brooch featured on sparklyvodka, and even though it's not my style, I went onto the Ginger Pickle website anyway. I love the glittery cat necklace featured in the photo with the black one, but it doesn't appear to be on sale, and now I've seen the glittery one I could not possibly settle for plain black. The Minimalist Silver Moon Necklace would be the perfect gift for one of my best friends - if I didn't want it myself. Dilemma.

I then went straight to Eclectic Eccentricity, a online shop I have bought from before. If you like gold-toned jewellery, you must check it out as they have some really lovely designs. Unfortunately, I am all about silver, and the only thing they've got that I like is this ring, which I really like, but it's adjustable, and when I bought a adjustable ring from Eclectic Eccentricity before, it was a bit too small. It's very pretty, but I can't wear it on my index or middle fingers, and I usually wear another ring on my ring finger, so it doesn't get much wear.

Clothes! I have bought a couple of dresses from Phase Eight secondhand, and I have loved wearing them so much that I now regularly find myself looking longingly at all the pretties on their website. They have a store near me, but it never seems to get the good stuff and I hate buying clothes without trying them on first. I'm currently completely obsessed with the Flavia dress. I also love this dress from Monsoon.

Ahhh! I keep looking at things I don't need - dresses and jewellery - and avoiding items that might actually make it onto my Christmas list, mostly because I have no idea where to start.

For instance, I want a backpack, but a pretty one, not a sporty one. Yes, it needs to be pretty big and pretty sturdy so that I can haul it across London to my boyfriend's a couple of times a week. But I also want it to go with my clothes, so it must be looks-pretty too, preferably in purple, black, or grey. If you have any idea where I might buy such a thing, please leave me a comment!

I also need a new winter coat, preferably in bright purple or red and made of wool. I've been happily wearing my 'smart' red winter coat for the last five winters. But then I took it to the dry cleaners a couple of months ago, and it shrunk. I can still wear it, but I won't be able to get all the layers under it that I need to keep me warm, so it's been relegated to the autumn coat leagues. I am always going to buy at least one size up in future. This must not be allowed to happen again! I'm afraid that the coat hunt is going to be even worse than the backpack hunt as I have very long arms. Any suggestions? PLEASE.


Monday Amusements 21

I've been rediscovering old Aromaleigh samples.

I loved seeing Hellcandy's glove collection! It definitely makes me want to collect more gloves and wear them all the time! At the very least I need to knit another pair of fingerless gloves - it's gotten very cold very fast here.

Give and Makeup has a new posting address for their just-launched Shoebox Campaign.

We Were Raised By Wolves has a giveaway running - the prize is a Lip Butter from The Body Shop.

The Midnight Violets review of the Seventeen Deconstructed Collection was intriguing - the nail studs look great! I also recommend Hannah's review of the Urban Decay Vice 2 palette, because it made me realise that I don't need it! The pinks look beautiful but there are five brown shades in there that I just wouldn't use, so it would be wasted on me! However, the Darling Girl Spectral Shifts, as reviewed at Stay Beautiful, are just perfect. I love cool-toned, pale duochromes.


Nails of the Month October 2013, featuring Maybelline, Barry M and Revlon

I didn't do a Nails of the Month post for September, because I was so busy I hardly had a moment to apply nail varnish. I kept putting on clear base coat with the intention of applying a coloured polish later, but never getting around to it. But this month I've made more of an effort!

Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots in 'Speckled Pink' (£2.99)

I think these dotty polishes have sold out now in the UK, I haven't seen one anywhere for weeks. It looks purplish in the bottle but comes out pure pink, and it looks best after two coats. It’s difficult to apply, especially to the tips, because of the speckles - it’s almost impossible to get an even coverage without getting too many speckles on the edges. They overhang and scrape off easily, so tip wear occurs very quickly. But it's very pretty once you get it right and while it lasts!
Barry M 'Raspberry' (£3.99)

One coat provides really good coverage, it only looked patchy in a few places, however, I did get a little tip wear after one day. It's a very dark pink, as long as you're looking at it in natural light. In artificial light (florescent tube, light bulb) it looks dark red and not as nice.

Revlon 'Rock' (discontinued, I think, but try eBay if you really want to try this)

A lovely colour but pretty horrible to apply. Usually I wait a day or so before doing a second coat as it covers the first day's tip wear and applies more easily, but the first coat was horrendously patchy so I had to apply another straight away. It looked much better with two coats but took ages to dry and in the two days after it acquired many dents and smudges. It also stuck to my cuticles and I had to scrape it off, which left the gaps you can see here. I might try adding some thinner to see if that improves the formula. In the end I applied a glitter top coat, Revlon 'Star', so that I could get more wear out of it. But I took that photograph on November 1st, so to see that you'll have to wait until next month, or check out my Instagram profile
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