Life Lately #13 - The Birthday Edition

Firstly, huge apologies - I have been downright neglectful when it has come to my blog lately.  I've had a few busy weeks and have been a little bit stressed out with changing my job and haven't had a lot of free time, but things should resume to normal soon! 

So this week was my Birthday, now I have a little bit of a love / hate relationship with my Birthday, another year means I'm now the grand old age of 35 (eeek!!) however I've gotta say I feel better now than I ever have, and I'm a firm believer that age is nothing but a number! ;) I don't like Birthdays mainly because all the attention is on me and I'm not good with that, however, I kept my Birthday low key and really really enjoyed it :)

1.  New Car - I had a BMW up until around 3 years ago (when it bit the dust in a very tragic way!) and because I live in the middle of a city and walk to work I decided to not get another car for a bit.  However, recently and especially as the weather gets cooler, I've decided that getting a little car would be a good idea again.  I have my gorgeous other half Joe, to thank for enabling this absolute beauty of a Mini Cooper S and yes, I am going to be a massive poseur and get my retained private plates on it as soon as possible! haha! Thank you Joe such a wonderful Birthday prezzie :)

2. Bubbles with my Faves - on the Friday before my Birthday we went out to a few local bars for some drinks to celebrate, including this yummy bottle of Bolly, well if can't have champagne on your Birthday, when can you have it? :)

3. Vintage Lissy - such a fantastic Birthday present, my Uncle managed to get an old long lost VHS video of my sister burnt onto a DVD.  I watched this in bed in the morning whilst eating my Birthday breakfast.  Various little clips of me aged 1, 2 and a very bossy 3 (my poor little sister!) - very nostalgic and a great gift!

4. Birthday Cards - I'm one of those people who loves cards on their Birthday, of course I love presents too, who doesn't? But I love cards and the thought that goes into them. Probably why I love sending cards too and spend hours traipsing around several card shops every time it's someone's birthday to find the right one!

5. Retro Cake! - My Mum never fails to make me smile - and this cake was no exception! at lunchtime on my Birthday we went over to my parents for a special Birthday lunch.  Bucks fizz and lots of yummy food followed by this lovely cake.  So great to see my parents on my Birthday. 

6. Spoilt - I honestly was not expecting such a lovely array of gifts on my Birthday.  Anya Hindmarch and Zara featured heavily as well as some lovely personalised coasters from my best friend Sian and some fantastic NYX beauty bits that I'll be blogging about soon!

7. Birthday OOTD - I wanted something relaxed and comfortable for going out for some dinner (and since we were walking to the restaurant flats were essential!) I opted for Zara black blouse / Zara beige trousers / Valentino Rockstud flats and Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette on the eyes! 

8. Arbennig Restaurant - this is one of our favourite little restaurants in Pontcanna.  The food is always fantastic and really reasonably priced.  I had smoked beef salad to start followed by duck breast with a blackberry sauce and leek & potato crumble (photographed) highly recommend to those of you visiting Cardiff!

Promise to be back with you soon! 

Lis x 

Last Friday Night OOTD

Gotta say it, I'm loving September so far.  It's definitely my favourite time of year. Not only is it my Birthday this month but I love the fact that everything gets back to normal after the Summer and the weather is usually pretty nice in September, this year has been no exception.  One of the other things I love is the chilly mornings and evenings, it's a great excuse to bring out the warmer clothes and get cosy again! 

Last Friday evening I went to the cinema.  The cinema means a few things for me - firstly, eating copious amounts of crap (before the film even starts!!), secondly, it is always freezing in the cinema because they whack up the air con so high.  These two factors mean I want to be warm and I want to be comfortable :)

This was the perfect outfit for this, and a chance to don my new Nike Air Max 90's, Topshop ripped jeans and Zara T-shirt ;) I look a bit haggard in some of the had been a long day and I couldn't be bothered reapply my make up!! (lazy I know, but it's dark in the cinema right?!) 

What I'm wearing....

Tshirt - Zara - New York backwards, kinda cool, get it HERE 

Leather Jacket - few seasons old from Muubaa - they still do very similar ones though

Jeans - Topshop - Jamie - get them HERE

Trainers - Nike Air Max 90's - get them HERE

Watch - Gucci - years old - I had this for my 21st!! 

I can't recommend the jeans enough, it was like wearing leggings they were that comfortable!

Hope you're all having a great week! 

Lis x 

Life Lately #12

A fairly eventful week! Cardiff has been pretty hectic due to the NATO Summit taking place in South Wales and the city has been buzzing consequently (quite literally! more about that in a bit!) 

1.  Most Used This Week - let's kick off with some make up ramblings shall we? I gave the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet another go this week and I'm still having a love / hate affair with it.  Some days it looks fantastic, other days it just looks goddamn awful.  I don't get it! Also really loving the L'oreal Magique Highlighter this week, does a great job of lightening dark circles, very similar to the YSL Touche Eclat if not better! Also re-kindling the love with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush, this is a great great blush, bit of a more intense "MAC Well Dressed" for me. Love it, it's been on my cheeks all week!

2. Isabel Marant Dicker Boots - cooler weather means flip flops get pushed out of the way in favour of boots again! I forgot how much I love these, so comfortable and well worth the money.  If you're on the fence about these I'd definitely recommend them. They look great with skinny jeans also. 

3. Jo Malone Perfume Launch - During the week myself and Sian went to the launch of the new Jo Malone perfume Wood Sage & Sea Salt.   More about this on my blogpost HERE.  I'm definitely going to be purchasing :)

4. HMS Duncan - As I mentioned previously, South Wales has been host to the NATO Summit this week.  Our City has been subject to metal fences, search points and aircraft buzzing above the city pretty much all week.  It's been a great atmosphere though and has really put South Wales on the map.  On Thursday Barack Obama was eating dinner less than a mile away from my house! Pretty surreal! Before going to the cinema we went down to Cardiff Bay to check out the HMS Duncan, the newest British Warship and all I can say is wow, I'm not normally in to things like that (let's face it, you can't buy it in Zara and it doesn't make my face look better!) but this was pretty impressive! 

5. The Inbetweeners 2 - great film, made me laugh a lot.  Ate my own bodyweight in popcorn and nachos though. Not good. 

6. Tragic Haircut - poor poor Clicquot! Not only has she been in season for a month which meant she couldn't go and get her hair cut when she really needed it, she also developed quite a few nasty knots in her coat that unfortunately couldn't be brushed out...and this is the result.  She looks hilarious! hopefully it will grow back very soon!!! 

7. Homemade Pizzas - nothing beats a pizza you've made yourself! On Saturday instead of ordering a calorific Dominos's we decided to make our own pizzas. They were fantastic, I couldn't finish mine though! 

8. Hed Kandi Summer of Sax - you all know how much I love a bit of house music, I'm also a huge fan of the Saxophone.  This equals a match made in heaven for me! I've been playing this a lot today and can highly recommend for something very easy and uplifting to listen to :) 

And that's it, I have an outfit of the day for you next...

Have a great week! 

Lis x 


Jo Malone New Fragrance - Wood Sage & Sea Salt

Ahhh Jo Malone, the shop that couldn't be more aesthetically pleasing to me with its gorgeous combination of cream and black interior, sharp lines and neat edges! For a person with a bad case of OCD and likes things in's an absolute dream! 

I do like a little bit of Jo Malone in my life every now and then.  The candles are gorgeous, albeit don't last as long as some of their cheaper counterparts, but who cares?! really.  I also have a penchant for their hand wash in my kitchen, an expensive habit to have I know, but we can blame my Mum for getting me hooked on that!  The bath oils, particularly in Nectarine Blossom and Honey are also very good.  I'm not normally too keen on their perfumes as I find them very overpowering however I did really enjoy (and finish!) a bottle of Peony & Blush Suede recently. 

So anyway, enough waffling...

I was recently invited to the launch of the newest addition to Jo Malone's perfume range - Wood Sage & Sea Salt.  Myself and my partner in crime, Sian went along for the evening to experience the new perfume and I have to say, I was rather impressed! 

On arrival we were presented with a glass of champagne and a piece of sea salt fudge (FYI there were subsequent pieces of fudge guzzled later on!).  We were also given a rope bracelet that had been doused with the new scent.  Nice little touch! 

Now onto what it actually smells like.  Definitely a unique scent and nothing like anything else I've ever smelt before.  However it's very addictive and very wearable.  I'd say it's more of a day perfume, something you'd throw on at the weekends when you're not really doing much but still want to smell nice.  It's fresh and will appeal to those of you that enjoy fresh, crisp scents. It does have a very slight musk to it on the dry down though and I like this. 

The way Jo Malone describe it is very accurate.  The base note is sage and probably what you initially smell along with the sea salt, which is the heart note.  The top note is ambrette seeds (say what?! for those of you who didn't have a clue, just like me, they provide a woody musky note!) They also recommend layering it with the likes of Peony & Blush Suede or Nectarine Blossom & Honey, I'm excited to try both of these. 

It dries down to something very non-offensive and mellow, my only criticism would be that perhaps it doesn't last quite as well as some of the other scents in their range and you'll probably end up using more of it because of this! Never a bad thing though, who doesn't enjoy dousing themselves in perfume! :) 

I'll definitely be picking up a bottle when I'm in duty free at Heathrow next month :) 

More on the fragrance at Jo Malone HERE

Oh and here's a cheesy picture of me looking a scruffy mess and very tired (straight from work!) 

Back tomorrow with a weekly round up for you :) 

Lis x 

Life Lately #11

So apologies in advance...most of this week has been pretty yawnsome and boring (and that's not even an understatement!) and consequently a lot of thinking / reflecting / pondering has been done and this is the outcome! 

1. Tom Ford Bronzer - I have been using this a lot this week, mainly because I've been feeling so drab and lack-lustre (you know the feeling you get when your hair needs cutting, your eyebrows are a mess and you desperately need a tan, plus you're suffering the consequences of the eating enough food to feed a small village the weekend before - yeah, that!) now I'm not saying the Tom Ford Bronzer solves all of these 'problems' however there is just something so satisfying about pulling out this bronzer, swirling a huge brush into it and applying liberally all over the face! It's a great bronzer despite being slightly glittery and I've loved using it this week. 

2. Trans-seasonal Cardigan - well, that's a mouthful isn't it?! The weather over the last week in the UK has been our first taste of 'Autumn' (having said that today has been gloriously sunny - UK weather is more confusing than a woman with PMT at the moment!).  It's been quite chilly so this little cardigan I picked up in the sale at Hallhuber (in House of Fraser - link HERE) has been really useful, it's a great little shape (shortish with three quarter length sleeves) and made of really fine wool.  It's great for throwing on over little tops or dresses for work.  The brand, although pricey, has some great pieces for Autumn too - think an upper class Zara! 

3. An Oldie - I walked into a trainer shop recently and they were playing this song that I instantly recognised as something I listened to when I was at Secondary School and it really took me back.  I used Shazam to find out what it was because I couldn't remember (and if you don't have the Shazam app on your phone - hello? where have you been for the last couple of years?!) and it turns out it was Souls of Mischief - 93 'til Infinity  As many of you will know, I like all types of music but this falls into the rap / hip hop genre and has such a great Summer chilled out vibe to it.  I can't wait to the play this in the car! 

4.  Weather - I'm British.  I talk about the Weather, it effects my mood. And what?! lol So as I've already mentioned (I did warn you that not a lot had happened this week!) the temperature this week has dropped quite considerably and during the week it did feel like winter to the point that I revived my old slipper boots from the Winter and snuggled under a blanket to watch TV.  Have to say though, there is something so satisfying about this and I am quite excited now for Autumn Winter type clothes and the nights drawing in. 

5. Return of the XFactor - I love the XFactor and I'm not ashamed to admit it. For me, it's yet another sign that Winter is on it's way (sorry!).  I know a lot of people dislike this show and I do understand why, however I love a bit of trash TV and the fact that both Cheryl and Simon are back in it has made me more excited to watch it! 

6. A Tipsy Train Journey - myself and my partner in crime, Sian, hopped on a train this weekend to visit another one of my friends for her Birthday (more about that coming up!) Whilst waiting for the train to arrive we did a little refreshment shopping at Marks & Spencers and came up with these delights! It was a really funny train ride and I don't think I've laughed so much for a long time! Those little cocktails in cans were actually very good too!

7. Birthday Celebrations - My friend Lian turned 30 this weekend and to celebrate we all went up to Gloucester for drinks and food.  It was a great night and I also got to meet her gorgeous little baby, Sonny for a cuddle before we went out :) Happy Belated Birthday Lian! :) x 

8. Getting Excited - so this week I'm officially getting excited for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas and New York.  Las Vegas for a few days and a big Birthday celebration and then a week in New York.  I'm starting to research good restaurants, bars, shopping and things to do (and buy!) so any recommendations are more than welcome, please pop in the comments box below! :) 

And that's it folks! haul post is still on it's way soon, I promise! 

Lis x 

Life Lately #10 - The London Edition

Firstly, let me apologise for the sheer lateness of this post, which normally wings it's way to you on a Sunday! As you may have gathered from the title, I have been venturing away from my normal Cardiff haunts and spent a couple of days in London over the weekend.  

I also want to put a special mention in for my Mum who I know reads my blog regularly! I had planned to pop a little photo of her at her Birthday meal on here (23rd August and she loves a photo - NOT!) however I've realised just now that we had such a lovely time on Saturday evening I forgot to take any photos! Lucky escape Mum! 

So anyway, let's get on with things shall we?

1. Obligatory Car Selfie - Yes, I was excited to be going to London and bored sat on a long car I need any other excuse?!! :) Tom Ford shades in the model 'Racquel' in case anyone wants to know!

2. Cookies - have you ever stayed in a hotel where you get a warm cookie handed to you at the check in desk? No, nor had I until last weekend! We stayed in Chelsea in the New Double Tree by Hilton hotel and I was seriously impressed.  The rooms, albeit not huge, were very modern and clean with really comfy pillows and beds.  For anyone looking for a hotel with a great location (right next to an Overground station that links to the London Underground) I can definitely recommend this one. We drove into London and there's a car park right next to it too.  Check it out HERE

3. Shake Shack - This was my first cheeseburger of the weekend (yes, things got progressively worse on the healthy eating front but I'll go into that later!)  My first experience of Shake Shack was in Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates and to be honest I'm pretty glad there isn't one in Cardiff because the food is so incredibly naughty but so incredibly good.   It was insanely busy here (based in Covent Garden so hardly surprising - once we had eaten we got the hell out of there - I'm not good in touristy spots with too many people!!) 

4. Shopping - Selfridges, the Kings Road and Westfield satisfied my shopping urges. Greatly! Haul post will follow soon but here is a little snippet of what I bought.  Charlotte Tilbury goodies from Selfridges, Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Highlighter from SpaceNK (aka Mecca!) Chelsea boots from Mango and some Nike Air Max 90's (I have a bit of an obsession with these that started when I was 11 and never really faded away!) in black that I want to rock with a sort of smart casual look for Autumn and Winter.  

5. Underground - Whenever I go to London I'm always both fascinated and disgusted by the London Underground! Some of the escalators are so high you can't even see right the top! And to think I used to have a phobia of getting onto escalators when I was little! 

6. Ping Pong - if you love Dim Sum, you'll love Ping Pong! :) On Sunday evening I booked a table at the Soho Ping Pong for us.  I love the simplicity of this place and the great cocktails (my favourite is Lychee and Roses!) you are given a long menu with tick boxes on it and just tick what dishes you want, and can keep ordering dishes.  If you haven't been here I can highly recommend it. The food is fantastic, good service, great cocktails and nice atmosphere (dimly lit, house music, busy atmosphere, uber trendy - my kinda thing!) LINK

7.  Made In Chelsea - Ahhh the Bluebird Cafe! A trip to London for me isn't complete without a trip to the famous Bluebird for breakfast.  Those of you who are avid Made In Chelsea fans will know of this haunt, mainly because it used to be featured a lot on the show (before the show was full of morons - in my humble opinion!)  The food here is great and even though it's nicer to eat outside we still had a great breakfast here. LINK

8. Five Guys - ok, so here was the icing on the cake of my naughty food weekend.  I forgot to mention that on Friday night after a work leaving do night out I had a sneaky little McDonalds on the way home.  On Monday whilst traipsing around Westfield shopping centre we stumbled across the American burger/hotdog chain Five Guys where I had my THIRD cheeseburger and half a hot dog.  How I managed to make it back through my front door on Monday evening I do not know! This place was awesome though, the best part was watching your food being made, so organised!

And that's it, I will be back soon with a shopping post for you! :)

Lis x 

Saturday Night OOTD and FOTD

A few weeks ago I posted a few pictures on Instagram and also on a "Life Lately" post of my outfit and make up I wore when I went out for "drinks" with friends (well that's a very civilised way of putting it isn't it?!)

Anyways, quite a few of you requested the make up look and asked where I got the dress from so I thought a little blogpost was in order.  I'm going to try and remember now what I slapped onto my face that night. Bare with!

I'd prepared for the evening by using the St Tropez Express Tan the day before (which I love and highly recommend by the way - regular readers will have heard me waffle on about how great this stuff is numerous times!) and then painted my nails with Tom Ford Sugar Dune.  This is limited edition but you might still be able to get it at the counters, if you're lucky! Gorgeous shade, although not a great deal different to Essie Topless and Barefoot to be honest if you're after a dupe for this hideously expensive nail polish!

Now on to the face.  Lots of products here so prepare yourselves!  I wanted to go for something a little bit different to my normal make up look.  Something a little more dramatic in the eye area.  I'd come across a great mini-tutorial video on Instagram a few weeks ago and recreated this look, using a silvery eyeshadow. Yes, you heard right, something very unusual for me but I liked the finished look a lot.

So here we go...

Foundation - Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Cashew Beige (flawless looking skin in a tube Under eye Concealer - Nars Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (meh!)
Contour #1 - Soleil Tan de Chanel
Concealer - Diorskin Nude Concealer
Powder - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Diffused Light
Bronzer - Tom Ford Bronzer in Gold Dust
Contour #2 - Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium
Highlight - Dior Amber Diamond (discontinued - sorry!)
Blush - Sleek Blush in Flamingo

Base - Nars Eyeshadow base
Lid - All over lid and into crease, then blended up. - MAC Texture
Lid - Inner and outer corner then blended a little into crease - MAC Carbon
Lid - Patted on into centre of eye - Verve from the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette
Under lower lash line - MAC Texture, followed by MAC Carbon
Eyeliner - upper lash Charlotte Tilbury Feline Flick
Waterline - MAC Smolder pencil eyeliner
Mascara - Givenchy Noir Couture
Brows - Make Up Revolution Brow palette

Chantecaille Lipgloss in 'Lucky'

And here is the finished result complete with pout and obligatory miserable face! (sorry Mum!) 

Last but not least, let's talk clothes and accessories (or lack of them in this case!!)

The dress was a complete and utter shameless copy of the Victoria Beckham one that Amanda Holden wore on Britain's Got Talent in the UK (google Amanda Holden and Victoria Beckham dress and you'll see her wearing it, I think VB herself was also papped in this dress!) I bought it on eBay and there are literally hundreds of them on there in a few different colour ways. 

Here's a link to the search I did - they vary in price but I got mine for £11.99.  Yes, £11.99 ladies!!!! 

I paired it with some plain black super high stilettos from Office and my Alexander Wang Prism Clutch (not photographed!) 

It was such a simple look but I felt really chic and got a lot of compliments on the dress from random strangers in the ladies toilet! 

Hope you're all well and enjoying your week!

Lis x 

Elisabeth Rilatt. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.