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Friday, 30 May 2014

Book Review: How to be Chic & Elegant

There are so many different style books available, I hope over time to give you an insight into some to help you select which ones you would like to add to your book shelf.

"How to be Chic & Elegant - Tips from a French Woman" is by Marie-Anne Lecoeur.  I chose this book as there is this myth that French women dress better than British women.  I say myth as not all French women would win the best dress trophy, but what I have noticed is that French women make more effort on every day wear.

What I mean by this is you rarely see a French women doing her weekly shopping in joggers and trainers - in fact I've been quite surprised just how smartly they dress for what we would perhaps dress down for. I think the French simply do not put the practical before style - and maybe us Brits put the effort in where we think it's worth it.

Marie-Ann's book has some great tips on how to simplify your wardrobe, how to focus on the core elements of your style.  Her suggestions on what colours, I feel, are quite boring - but I get where she is coming - keeping it simple can be affective but some of this colours simply would not suit some women.


Book from Amazon

Here are a few of her tips, that I agree with her on!:

General Tips:  Mirrors
"Please, please, please invest in mirrors, especially a full-length one.  It is an ABSOLUTE ESSENTIAL.   This is the only way you can judge at a glance whether your look is well coordinated from the top of your head to the tip of your shoes.  Small mirrors will only show part of you: what you see may be great, what you do not may be a disaster.  Do not leave your final check to the last minute in case you need to change your jacket, coat or shoes."

I couldn't agree more with this, when I'm helping people with their clothes and putting items together, I'm amazed that most do not own a full-length mirror - how can you see the total finish look without it??!


General Tips: Poise and grace
"Elegant women are discreet: they know how to walk, sit and talk.  They do not eat with their mouth open and do not yawn or cough without a hand in front of their mouth.  They most definitely do not sit with their legs open.  They do not swear, talk loudly or scream.  They are poise personified.  They attract admiration, not attention.  Vulgarity is not in their vocabulary."


Tips for Accessorising: Pearls
"Wear your pearls!  They are quintessential accessory.  They look great even if you are naked!  Single, double or triple strand necklaces, earrings or bracelets: wear them and enjoy them.  They add a subtle sexiness to any ensemble.  Buy the best quality that you can afford as you will not regret it.  The more you wear pearls the better they look.  Take good care of them andy will give you that love back tenfold"

I'm not sure I fully get this tip?!  However she sounds so passionate about pearls that it made me laugh and I felt I had to include it in this post.  I personally would prefer to be covered in diamonds!! 


Tips for Accessorising: Discretion
"I cannot emphasise enough the 'less is more' approach.  This means no multitude of bangles up your arm, no diamante tiara or chandelier earrings.  Elegance goes hand in hand with discretion.  One single bracelet will finish off your look better than a cacophony of bangles.  If you wear those charm bracelets that are all the rage at the moment, remember to wear simple sleeves and no other fancy jewellery."


"How to be Chic & Elegant - Tips from a French Woman" by Marie-Anne Lecoeur is available from Amazon, simply click here.  RRP £5.98.


If your looking for more tips on French styling, then La Redoute, who are one of the largest mail order businesses in France have some key styling tips to offer - have a read here.  It covers off essential classics like the trench coat, white shirt, the LBD plus more!

I would love to hear your thoughts on French style, either leave a comment on the blog or tweet me @lovedbylizzi






Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Browtastic!

I've always been a believer that if you do a few basic grooming tasks then for the most part you don't need to wear full on make-up daily. One of the key beauty tips, is to keep your brows groomed!

For so many years I've been waxing my eyebrows, with the hope that one day they may naturally grow perfect.

Nope, not happened!

Over the years I've had some amazing eyebrow beauticians, thank you ladies!  And some who I have seriously questioned if they have actually taken the course!!  
My main pet hate about waxing is it doesn't pick up the finer hairs and I find myself frequently plucking or tidying up the mess they have made, not forgetting that I've paid them for this service.

So ladies let me introduce you to a another way of getting those brows into shape! Credit needs to be given to a) Sadie and then b) my Twitter followers - both of whom highly recommend this technique. Threading.

Threading is a little difficult to explain; it's using threads of cotton and with a combination of your hands holding the skin and the beautician doing her thing, it miraculously provides the perfect brow shape, including all the fine ones too - I'm hooked!

So I had my done by Blink at a concession in John Lewis, a few times, and I won't be looking back. 

Firstly I feel like I am actually getting a service for the money I'm paying. She spends time talking me through the shape she would like us to achieve over the coming months. The treatment includes a nice head massage, brow make-up (which I will cover off in a future blogpost) and if I go back within the first 7 days of having a "shape" then any that have come through will be removed for FREE. A fabulous service!

Blink also offer a loyalty scheme, pay for five, get your sixth for free!




Friday, 23 May 2014

Essential summer kit: Bronzing Queen

I've just come back from a fabulous week in Egypt and I wanted to share with you a great make-up product that you should include in your kit for the summer.

As soon as I start to get colour on my face, I find I go off foundation and even tinted moisturiser - I think when your in hot countries the less you put on your face the cooler you remain.

But every girl wants to look made up in the evening...

So have you tried Bronzer? The one I've used for this trip is a cheap one from Collections called Mosaic. I personally wouldn't spend a huge amount on this type of product, as your are only using it for a couple of months and for hygiene purposes you should get a fresh one each year.

If you have Autumn or Spring colourings then your quite lucky as most of the bronzers will work lovely, if you have Winter or Spring colourings, then you need to select one that have pinks within the mix - a mosaic version like mine is great as it has a whole host of different shades.

The best way to apply it is using a big brush - I have a compact big brush (from The Bodyshop). Start by adding some primer to your face (this is always a good base for make-up).  Next, take your brush and fill it with Bronzer, shake off any excess before applying. Then apply using the number 3 rule; start at your forehead and draw a three - so from your forehead to your cheek, and then to your chin. Repeat the other side.

Done.

I still use a little blusher, mascara, eyebrow pencil and lipstick - it looks fresh, modern and I'm pleased to say it lasts all night!

I purchased mine from Boots at £2.99




Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Recommended Book: Bonkers by Jennifer Saunders

Image from Amazon

For holiday reading, I love an autobiography and a comedienne one guarantees a good giggle or two from my sun bed! 

I'm a huge fan of Miss Saunders; from Eddie of Ab Fab to her sketches with Dawn French. What I particularly liked about this book is that it didn't dwell too much on the childhood (which I generally find boring about autobiographies). I want to know their day to day stuff, what they eat and the TV shows that they watch on a Friday night whilst eating a takeaway!  

Her book Bonkers is funny from start to finish, she rants on about the management at the BBC, but it's good to get an insight on how things have changed over the years.  

Focusing on her career, she explains about how things just happened through accident and not by some major big plan - this reinforces my (newish) daily mantra of  "what is meant for you, will not pass you by" a great quote given to me from my dear friend Katrina recently.

She reflects on how she has moved on with modern times and loves using Twitter, whereas Dawn refuses to get on board and doesn't even have an e-mail address!

I also love the fact that she chats to her dogs all day, just like I do with my little dog (which I'm convinced he answers me ;).

There is a sad bit, which did make me shed a few tears, she talks through how she coped with breast cancer and the chemotherapy she went through - and yet somehow she kept her faith and her humour to get her through it.

Add it to your summer list readers - it's a guaranteed hoot!



Wednesday, 14 May 2014

To jump or not to jump?

Jumpsuits are big this season, you simply can't miss them!  It's the statement garment in virtually every store window I've seen lately.

I've tried quite a few on, and surprising the black ones don't necessarily make you look that great!? Unless your slim you need to be careful with both block colour and wide leg trousers.  If your hour-glass shape like me, then you need to make sure it tucks in nicely at the waist, the one I've just bought has a slim belt that helps define it nicely.

Patterns are a good way for disguising you lumps and bumps.  There are so many to choose from, you simply need to find a pattern you like, and for it to like you!  Keen to add this garment to your wardrobe? Then take your time shopping for one as you need to make sure it fits just right.

Here's the one I purchased from Wallis, just in time for my holiday, perfect for dinner on the first night when my legs have not had chance to see the sun yet…

Was £55, now £44
I'll be styling this with nude stilettos and gold jewellery.







Here are a few I've checked out for you:

River Island
How glamorous is this number!  Love the floral, perfect for day or evening.
£45









Red Bandeau jumpsuit by Annie Greenabelle for TOPSHOP
£40
If you need to avoid strap marks then here you go!






Mint Velvet Liza Print Strappy Jumpsuit
House of Fraser
£89
A relaxed look, great for BBQ parties…







And if you have cash to splash - this is perfect fro evening wear (love it!!!)

Stella McCartney for Selfridges
Asymmetric lace jumpsuit

£2,490