Saturday, 22 April 2017

Nars Eye Paint in Black Valley: Review

And so, my quest for an above average eyeliner continues.  Since the birth of this blog I've grappled with the likes of Smashbox and Stila's offerings, but to little avail.  Smashbox didn't have quite the right amount of pigment, and Stila was not enough bang for your buck (I was going through one every couple of months!), so I decided it was time to try something new...and that something is Nars' Eye Paint in the shade Black Valley.


This is a gel formula liner, which I have tended to have the most luck with over the years - I'm certainly better with a brush than with a pen.  I also think gel liners work out much better value in the end.  This was £19 from Space NK, and by the looks of it will probably last me 2-3 years, as a little goes a long way! 

The colour is pretty much as black as you can go, and dries to a gorgeous deep matte.  The formula is creamy and very movable, making it fairly easy to apply as long as you've got a trusty liner brush to hand.  I haven't yet tried it, but the sales assistant I spoke to about it in the shop also mentioned you can use these paint pots as all over creamy shadows as the colour is quite buildable - however I'm not too sure I'd be using it all over my lid in this shade (unless I was dressing up as a panda, maybe).

My only qualm with this would be the staying power, as always.  I think they need to invent an eyeliner that includes some kind of safe adhesive in its ingredients.  I'm fine for the first few hours, but once those facial oils start to creep through I'm in smudge city.  I've found using an eyelid primer or applying over the top of a powdered lid definitely helps - it's still not fail safe, but it'll do for now. 


Will my quest for eyeliner ever end?  I'll keep you posted...

Ruby x


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Denim Denim

Pretty much anyone who knows me will also probably know I have a massive thing for denim.  And when I saw this jacket at a vintage stall in Berlin back in February (for more on that trip click here and here) it was love at first sight, despite it being grossly out of season and really, really cold.

Although it was a little steep at around €45 from what I can remember, I think denim jackets are always an excellent investment - not saying you can't get good 'uns cheaply - but that when the right one does come along, buy it and cherish it, because they last forever.  Similarly, these jeans have seen me through the past 3 years (minimum), all year.  And I think paired with the jacket, despite being slightly different shades, it's a match made in quirky heaven. 

Shoes - TK Maxx (similar) / Jeans - Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal (similar) / Top - Zara (similar)
Jacket - Vintage (United Colours of Benetton) / Bag - BrandAlley

The other thing I couldn't not talk about is this bag, another love affair story.  With student loan having just dropped, and a couple of my favourite cross body bags having just bitten the dust, I thought I'd treat myself to something a little better made that will hopefully last me longer.  

I got this from a website called BrandAlley which is a 'non-stop designer sale', aka Aladdin's cave for bargain hunters like me.  I paid £45 for this in the end as I got a £10 first purchase discount, but that's with a 74% discount on the initial cost.  Yeah, I know.  It's also super reminiscent of the Chloé Faye bag too, but at a fraction of the cost.

And finally, I introduce my latest TK Maxx find - these very Celine-esque sunglasses from a brand called Derek Lam.  I can't fault TK Maxx for their range of sunnies - you can find so many brands at so many different price points, but all really good bang for your buck. 

So, that concludes the whistle stop tour of where the first 20% of my student loan has gone.  Enjoy the sunshine my loves,

Ruby x


Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Military Jacket

Now that the weather is getting a little warmer, a whole new range of wardrobe options have become available to me and that is something I am so happy about.  I'm a really cold person (inside as well as out) so it's not really until this time of year that I feel like I can start to really get my style on.  There's only so much you can do when you have to wear a jumper and coat over the top of everything...

And one of my new found loves has to be this jacket - which is actually relatively old.  I got this late November last year when Missguided had one of those extra special 50% off everything for students events.  I'd never actually ordered anything from the site before and so thought it would be a good opportunity to try...  although this was not the most practical purchase for the time of year, as it really is quite lightweight and not very warm!  But luckily I'm getting some wear out of it now.  It's not on the site anymore now but I did find this other military style jacket which is just to die for.


Another thing I've got really into recently is culottes (again!). 

 Top - Urban Outfitters (old) / Culottes - Zara (similar) / Shoes - Adidas Stan Smiths (v similar)
Bag - Fiorelli @ TK Maxx / Zip up hoodie - Primark / Jacket - Missguided

These ones are from Zara, and they're probably one of the comfiest items of clothing to ever have graced my wardrobe.  They've also got a rather sexual split down the side of each leg, which I haven't managed to get in these pics - but probably best left to the imagination anyway.  

Finally I have to give some air time to the latest addition to my wardrobe, which are this beautiful pair of trainers.  I picked these up on a whim in the Adidas outlet store in Gunwharf Quays - and weirdly enough, I can't find them online but these are very similar.  I was so unsure when I first saw these, but a couple of weeks in and I'm bloody loving them.  They're so versatile as trainers go, and I'm obsessed with the textured look of the shoe. 

Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend.  Love,

Ruby x

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Berlin: Episode II

 To kick off the second - very late, and final - instalment of photos from last month's family trip to Berlin, we begin with the Frankfurter Tor area and the famous East Side Gallery.  The day before visiting en famille, I met up with Hannah, one of my uni friends who is doing a year abroad in the city.  Luckily, she was kind enough to give me a fleeting Tor (ha ha) of the area so I had a vague idea of what was where and could lead the way.

However, first stop was coffee...

... and soup for Esme! 

Before moving on to the East Side Gallery, a famous section of the Berlin wall and a memorial for freedom, covered with the work of different artists - some really, really famous (see below)...

... some slightly bizarre...

... but definitely all worth a look.

 Next on the list was a visit to Treptower Park to visit the Soviet War Memorial and the 'abandoned fairground' which my dad had read about on some not-so-touristy corner of the internet. 

The memorial was suitably vast, and undoubtedly impressive whilst still incredibly bleak in the overcast light of the afternoon.

I would love to go back to visit this memorial in the summer months, I can imagine it would be beautiful in a completely different way.

After a pit stop at Burger King to avoid a rain shower (and get some fries, of course), we began the trek to find the abandoned fairground.

Down a muddy path in what felt like the middle of nowhere, we found it, fenced in and eerie. 

The next day we were up bright and early (for us, anyway) to have brunch at the Käfer Dachgarten Restaurant, situated, well, on top of the Reichstag.  

After a short wait, a security check and an escort through the building and up to the restaurant, we were seated.

And breakfast was incredible.  Definitely not one for the faint hearted though, particularly if you choose the 'Feel Good' breakfast, as 4 out of 5 of us did.  I actually went for the Bavarian breakfast.  Equally delicious, apart from the 3 pots of variously flavoured lard it arrived with - would not recommend.

 After brunch we got our blood pumping again by following a walkway to another viewing level of the Reichstag.

Very cold, very clear.

And then made our way out of the Reichstag building, through the park and across to the Jewish Memorial. 

This, too, is quite an expansive memorial, and you can walk between the concrete slabs - an experience designed to produce 'an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason'.

We then headed towards our final stop off for the trip, which was back to Bernauer Strasse for the weekly market.  

Where unfortunately, I become a bit sparse on photos!  Almost every stall had a notice up saying either 'no photography' or 'take a photo and pay €10'... both of which I took as warning enough.  

Anyway, if you've made it to here, congrats!  I really did have the best time in Berlin and could recommend it to anyone - there's so much to see and do.  Also, I might continue to be a little quiet over the next couple of months, as I'm working away (or at least pretending to be) on my dissertations.  Stick with me my loves!

Ruby x