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Archive for the ‘Stylish Steals’ Category

Eyeliner: Flicks and cats. The struggle is real

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

I’ve noticed that I mostly pin amazing eyeliner looks on to my Pinterest Beauty board. I’ve been caught out staring at immaculate eyeliner flicks on strangers as they walk past in the street. I’ve been known to quiz my girlfriends that always pull off incredible, symmetrical cats-eyes as if it isn’t any big deal (Caroline!). I’m obsessed because I am useless as doing this myself. Maybe it’s the shape of my eyes, maybe it’s just my wonky face, maybe it’s useless eye/hand coordination?

I did my research, trying to find the best tool that would magically impart some makeup super skills. I discovered my best yet option in Soap and Glory’s Supercat. Designed like a felt tip pen it’s super easy to use, long lasting and a really great deep, dark black. Oh, and a bargain too by the way. As you can see by the slightly well worn look of mine in the shot below, I do practice with it on a regular basis but still haven’t cracked the simplest of line looks.

Soap and Glory, Supercat eyeliner, beauty blog, Blink London

Soap and Glory’s Supercat eyeliner

But none of that stops me from virtually indulging in dreamy eyelined looks, imagining them amazingly accurately transferred on to my face. I am seeking professional help for my obsession, hoping that a patient makeup artist might share the secrets of the perfect set of flicks with me. In the mean time, I wanted to share with you some of my absolute favourite looks on my Beauty board. All are fantastic, but some are pure catwalk fantasy. All are black- lets not even get started on all of the wonderful colourful looks…

eyeliner, beauty, beauty blogger, cat eye flick, black eyeliner, Blink London

eyeliner, beauty, beauty blogger, cat eye flick, black eyeliner, Blink London

eyeliner, beauty, beauty blogger, cat eye flick, black eyeliner, Blink London

eyeliner, beauty, beauty blogger, cat eye flick, black eyeliner, Blink London

eyeliner, beauty, beauty blogger, cat eye flick, black eyeliner, Blink London

eyeliner, beauty, beauty blogger, cat eye flick, black eyeliner, Blink London. Anthony Vaccarello Fw15:16

All eyeliner looks are images swiped from Pinterest.

For more beauty posts, click here, and if you have a pearl of eyeliner wisdom to share please, please leave a comment!

Blink London kitchen redesign project: multi facetted

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The final look at our kitchen redesign project and I wanted to share a close look at the finishing touches. Yes, we are feeling slightly obsessed with facetted shapes. These are three of our favourite additions to the kitchen scheme, setting off the more permanent elements (Ikea kitchen units, custom plywood cupboards and shelves, concrete worktops, metro tiles) really well. Good looking and all very useful too.

Blink London kitchen redesign, Ikea kitchen, plywood details, lifestyle blogger, Ikea hack

yellow facetted ceramic vase

Tiger facetted bowl, Blink London kitchen redesign, Ikea kitchen, plywood details, lifestyle blogger, Ikea hack, Bjorn Wiinblad

Tiger facetted bowl, with one of my collection of vintage Bjorn Wiinblad discs

LIV Interior facetted bowl, Blink London kitchen redesign, Ikea kitchen, concrete worktop, lifestyle blogger,metro tiles, vintage Turkish plate, Sergeant Pepper pepper mill, vintage 50's tea pot

LIV Interior facetted bowl with vintage Turkish plate, Sergeant Pepper pepper mill and vintage 50’s tea pot

For more lifestyle posts, including all of our kitchen redesign posts, just click here.

Top 10 stylish Christmas Stocking Fillers from Blink London

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
christmas tree, christmas lights, festive, merry christmas, lifestyle blog, Blink London

image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

You have 2 more shopping days until Christmas Day. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to share with you our top ten, super stylish stocking fillers- and these all come from actual shops so no excuses that it’s too late. It’s never too late to be fabulous darling!

1) Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara

It’s new, it comes in a waterproof formula, it’s available from Boots and it’s lush! Who doesn’t love a great mascara?

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara, beauty news, Boots

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara

2) Agent Provocateur G string set

The kind of knickers you’d never buy for yourself, but are delighted to have bought for you by someone else!

Agent Provocateur Trixie knickers gift set, lingerie, christmas gift, g strings, sexy knickers, Blink London, fashion blog

Agent Provocateur Trixie knickers gift set

3) Diptyque’s 3 mini Christmas candle set

Beautifully packaged and stunningly scented. You will seem such a brilliantly stylish person with such perfect taste if you gift these.

Diptyque Holiday 3 mini candle set, scented candles, christmas gift, lifestyle blog, Blink London

Diptyque Holiday 3 mini candle set

4) Nails Inc Spray Can Nail Polish

The most exciting innovation in nail varnish since, well probably since nail varnish was invented!

Nails Inc Nail varnish, nail polish, beauty news, beauty blog, Blink London

Nails Inc Spray Can nail varnish

 5) Monica Vinader letter pendants

If she’s likely to forget her own name after too many festive tipples, what could be a better reminder?

Monica Vinader's letter pendants, personalised jewellery, fashion blog, Blink London

Monica Vinader’s letter pendants. ‘B’ for Blink obvs!

6) Liberty London’s colouring book

Because you know that colouring in in the new meditation.

Liberty London's colouring book

Liberty London’s colouring book

 7) Stella McCartney’s Pink Lips iphone 5 cover

Because everything you have should be as fabulous as possible, because you should always let your inner child choose your accessories, because it’ll help you find your phone in your Falabella handbag…

Stella McCartney Pink Lips iphone 5 cover, mobile phone cover, fashion accessories, fashion blog, Blink London

Stella McCartney Pink Lips iphone 5 cover

8) Shrimps Jerry Mascot faux fur key ring

For many of the same reasons as that iphone case, plus the fact that Shrimps is just brilliant, faux fur rocks and you can grab this at your nearest branch of Matches.

Shrimps Jerry Mascot faux fur key ring, fashion accessories, faux fur, British fashion label, fashion blog, Blink London

Shrimps Jerry Mascot faux fur key ring

9) Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil

if you celebrate Christmas correctly, then the days before NYE will be spent detoxing yourself in prep for the impending second wave of celebrations. This beautiful blend looks good, smells good and does you good. You’ll find this and lots of other beautiful beauty gifts at Space NK.

Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil, aromatherapy oil, anti cellulite, beauty blog, Blink London

Elemental Herbology Detox Bath Oil

 10) Smythson’s Fashion Diary

Last but not least, we do love anything Smythson and this fashion diary is both a practical and incredible stylish gift for any fashionista in your life (including me!).

Smythson Fashion Diary, luxury gift, British brand, diary, lifestyle blog, fashion blog, Blink London

Smythson Fashion Diary

Now grab your eco friendly canvas shopper, sharpen your elbows and get to shopping!

All images swiped with thanks from the various brand’s websites

Art Rookie share their Christmas gift ideas

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Do you know about Art Rookie? If not, then let us introduce you to a wonderful source of brilliantly creative products that is about to transform your Christmas shopping angst into Christmas shopping ease. Art Rookie is a brilliant online shop that is dedicated to supporting British artists and designers.

Liz and Jodie, founders of Art Rookie

Liz and Jodie, founders of Art Rookie

Created by Liz Bush and Jodie Prince, young artist and designers themselves, Art Rookie’s USP is that the designer or artist is given the opportunity to apply their artwork to a selection of products, showcased on the Art Rookie website. This is where the artist can then get back to being an artist, and all the rest (from production to shipping) is all handled by Art Rookie. It’s a brilliantly supportive way for designers to get their work out there in a consistently high quality way, all made to order in Britain, with the benefits of being part of a bigger concern whilst retaining their independence.

The Art Rookie team are in a unique position of being to oversee a multitude of artists and see trends in the work that’s being created. We asked them to share the biggest stories with us so you can be as inspired as possible with buying gifts for the design driven people in your life. There are three big trends: surrealist, monochrome and bringing the outside in.

All of these products can be found on the Art Rookie site and while you’re looking for your favourites from these moodboards, I feel sure you’ll discover many more irresistible designs.

Art Rookie, the monochrome trend, Christmas gift ideas, creative gifts, British artists

Art Rookie and the monochrome trend

Art Rookie, the surrealist trend, Christmas gift ideas, creative gifts, British artists

Art Rookie and the surrealist trend

Art Rookie, the outside inside trend, Christmas gift ideas, creative gifts, British artists

Art Rookie and the outside inside trend

Happy shopping! For more retail news, just click here.

Bella Illustrations celebrates Cyber Monday with 50% off

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Cyber Monday Bella Illustrations, fashion illustrations, fashion designer, fashion drawings, original artworks, Etsy shop, Lucy Williams

We decided to embrace Cyber Monday madness and so, for today only you can get 50% off of all of you purchases from the Bella Illustrations Etsy shop. Just add ‘drawmebella’ in as the coupon code at checkout, and we guarantee you’ll have your artworks before Christmas.

Now you’ll have an even more stylish Christmas! For more Christmas gift suggestions as well of other retail news, just look here.

The Blink London kitchen redesign

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
The Blink London kitchen project, before and after, interior decor, kitchen redesign, Ikea, lifestyle blog

The Blink London kitchen project, before and after

Finally we’re ready to share our completed kitchen project with you! What an exciting journey it’s been. I’ve never designed an interior space before and so this was rather a steep learning curve- but one that had to be faced. Just look at that tired out, falling apart and frankly ugly kitchen on the left. Well, now it looks so beautiful, even if I say so myself.

As a womenswear designer there is a process that I am familiar with and I tried to apply the same principles to this project. First came budget planning, then came research (of the aesthetics and also the materials/ suppliers/ options), then the space was measured up and the designs were drawn up. Just to context these posts and this project for you, none of this is sponsored, the space is small (2.5m x 2.3m) and the budget just as small. So how do we deliver something that works well and looks great when we want carrara marble but have a formica budget? Fortunately that’s the kind of challenge I love!

First came the clarification of the look we wanted to achieve. Dear Pinterest creators, I love you with all of my heart. I do wonder how I ever managed to research without it! So here’s what we were most inspired by…

Simple white, but warmed up with the addition of ply elements (image with thanks to Pinterest)

Simple white, but warmed up with the addition of ply elements (image with thanks to Pinterest)

a clean, compact and simple run of units  (image with thanks to Pinterest)

a clean, compact and simple run of units (image with thanks to Pinterest)

an organic, stone look worktop created with concrete  (image with thanks to Pinterest)

an organic, stone look worktop created with concrete (image with thanks to Pinterest)

Now to work out where to find all of the elements to deliver this look, and after exhaustive meetings with kitchen suppliers, Ikea won out. Their storage solutions are just the most clever, innovative and useful- and as the kitchen space is compact every single centimetre has to work well. So, I drew up my first thoughts and hit my nearest branch (Ikea tip of the day, get there 30 minutes before opening when they are open for browsing and leg it straight to the kitchen planning department so you’re one of the first appointments).

the plan- the Blink London kitchen project, Ikea, kitchen design, interior decoration, lifestyle blog, Blink London

the plan- the Blink London kitchen project

Look out for the next stage on the blog tomorrow! In the meantime, for more lifestyle posts, just look here.

“Blink” Interiors: Inspiration from Columbia Road Flower Market

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

If you follow our instagram, you’ll know that I have been reworking a few things at Blink Towers. I have turned my design skills from fashion to interiors, starting off with a kitchen redesign and refit. I learnt so much during this process and I cannot wait to share the journey with you. Before we get into the cut and thrust, dust and very gritty nitty gritty, I have this rather more accessible and easily translatable post to share with you.

We live in a Victorian terrace house conversion, connecting to our neighbours on the right in an ‘L’ shaped layout. This means that our kitchen window looks out over the space created. This is lovely in that we have natural light etc, but the view ain’t much to write home about. Additionally, it means that we have our neighbour’s window pretty much looking at us too. When I get up in the morning and make my first coffee looking like some sort of walking dead, I don’t want to freak the neighbours out too much. Therefore I needed to come up with some sort of window covering.

My kitchen herbs and I love the light too much to choose a curtain or any frosted glass, so I decided to go for something far more partial, transparent and decorative. I collect Mid Century glass, and it always looks better with the light shining through it. I also love fresh flowers. Combine those elements and this is what you get. You get a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market followed by some artful arranging.

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen, Columbia Road flower market, cut flowers, Mid Century glass, interior decor

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen.

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen, Columbia Road flower market, cut flowers, Mid Century glass, interior decor

Flowers in my kitchen

Now I do realise this isn’t quite enough cover to enable utterly privacy (i.e. some clothing is required…) but it does give some coverage, as well as enhancing my view as well as theirs no doubt. And this looks totally different throughout the day and evening which just adds even further to my delight.

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen, Columbia Road flower market, cut flowers, Mid Century glass, interior decor

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen, Columbia Road flower market, cut flowers, Mid Century glass, interior decor

Flowers in my kitchen

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen, Columbia Road flower market, cut flowers, Mid Century glass, interior decor

Flowers in my kitchen, creating a floral window screen

Looking forward to sharing more from our kitchen adventure with you very soon. In the meantime, just look here for more lifestyle posts.

“Blink” Lifestyle: Blink Towers Kitchen Refurb Project, the lights

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

As a detail obsessed nit-picker it’s been a trying time deciding on all of the finishing details for this kitchen project- but fortunately I am also a tireless researcher so I managed to track down what I feel are the perfect solutions to deliver the look as well as stay within our budget (with the odd splurge!). One of the elements that I wanted to get absolutely right was the lighting. This is key not only from an aesthetic perspective, but also critical from a ‘fit for purpose’ point of view too.

These are the points that drove out the final decisions:
1) nothing boring or ordinary
2) a bit industrial
3) some fun colour
4) would work with my beloved Plumen lightbulbs
5) not budget-busting!

I roamed around the interweb on a sourcing mission with these five things in mind and tracked down the marvellous Dowsing and Reynolds and all my lighting wishes were granted by this brilliant British company! Alongside lots of industrial inspired lighting there’s also a small but perfectly formed selection of home accessories on their website too. I had a good browse around and then came across the ‘Create Your Own Lights’ section. Dowsing and Reynolds have created a place for you to cherry pick all of the elements that you love the most to create your very own, unique light fixtures. They even have a 6 step guide to help you pick the right elements. Oh, and these for sure would also count as one of our ‘Stylish Steals’ too!

My first port of call was their selection of gorgeous colourful fabric cables. I wanted to share D&R’s video with you just so you can appreciate the art behind these Italian made beauties.

I went for the orange and white to get my colour in to the design. I teamed it with their ‘forgotten silver’ ceiling rose and the same colour in a simple bulb holder.  It was delivered quick-smart and I grabbed my toolkit (yes, I do own a toolkit!) and got to work, under the watchful eye of my builder, Stef.

Dowsing & Reynolds 'create your own light' delivered in lovely packaging

Dowsing & Reynolds ‘create your own light’ delivered in lovely packaging

I carefully wired up the lamp holder and decided on how long I wanted to the pendant lights to hand down from the ceiling rose.

Dowsing & Reynolds 'create your own light'  in progress

Dowsing & Reynolds ‘create your own light’ in progress

I then handed over to Stef to attach the rose to the ceiling and to wire in my lovely new pendant lights. Literally minutes later all three lights were up and ready to have the baby Plumen bulbs popped in and switched on!

Dowsing & Reynolds 'create your own light'

Dowsing & Reynolds ‘create your own light’

My unique Dowsing & Reynolds lights

My unique Dowsing & Reynolds lights

I’m a very proud Blink Boss right now and can’t wait to see you these beauties in the finished scheme. Thanks so much to Ally of Dowsing & Reynolds for all of the help and support and interminable question answering I put her through!

For more lifestyle posts, click here. For all of our ‘Stylish Steals’, click here.

“Blink” Stylish Steals: Pimp my Ikea, the Bekvam step stool

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

If you follow us on Instagram, you will already have seen a few  of our initial steps in kicking off the big Blink Towers kitchen redesign and refit. Well, it’s all happening and I wanted to share with you our first complete project. I’ll kick off with a disclaimer statement that we have not been sponsored by any of the brands featured. We have chosen every single thing because of several reasons: 1) we love it 2) it fits in with our shoestring budget 3) it works really, really well.

You’ll see more of the full kitchen as we progress, which will include us making our own concrete worktop (argh!) but firstly lets focus on a smaller, less challenging, but still key element to the overall look. You may know that I absolutely love Pinterest (already inspiring our bright yellow front door!), and when I started researching the kind of overall look and detailing I wanted to incorporate into the kitchen project I found so many great ideas on this super site (you’ll find them all on various of our Pinterest boards if you’d like to see more). One of which was this super cool pink step stool, originally shared on Cecilies Lykke ‘Made’ blog. As it happens I do actually need a step stool in the new kitchen as I have made the most of all the wall space and some if the units are set pretty high.

the inspiration, found on Pinterest and originally from Cecilies Lykke blog, Ikea step stool upgraded, Bekvam, neon pink

the inspiration, found on Pinterest and originally from Cecilies Lykke ‘Made’ blog

When tootling around Ikea looking for kitchen inspiration I spotted the very same stool, called Bekvam, kicking off my first DIY spray painting adventure. I bought the unpainted birch version- although if you don’t fancy any DIY, there are some pre-painted versions too. Ikea do have their own range of paints called Behandla that they recommend you use on their products, but none gave me that neon pink hit that I was searching for.

Ikea's Bekvam step stool

Ikea’s Bekvam step stool

So I went back to Pinterest to see if I could find some good ideas on products and how best to use them. This is how I found this great instructional blog post from In My Own Style. Love those chairs! She recommended Valspar spray paint so I tracked some down at my local DIY superstore and got to work…

Sanding prep- a mask if you're being very sensible, thick gloves, a sanding block, fine grain sandpaper.

Sanding prep- a mask if you’re being very sensible, thick gloves, a sanding block, fine grain sandpaper.

Stage 1, although the step stool was plain wood I still gave it a quick sanding over just to be sure the surface was best prepared to take the paint well. I did this before constructing the stool for ease. Follow the grain of the wood to create a smooth surface. You just need to give it a quick but thorough going over.

Construction! Ikea, Bekvam step stool


Step 2, put this little baby together. My biggest tip here is read the instructions from start to finish before you begin. That way you will avoid all of the stupid back to front mistakes that I made! When all the pieces are in place then give all the screws a final tighten. When you have your step stool all made you must remove all dust etc from the sanding process. Spray paint isn’t like normal paint in that it is a very fine layer, therefore all rough patches or splinters will still be seen and felt. The better the job you do at this stage in having a smooth, clean surface, the better your overall finish will be.

The Valspar primer basecoat

The Valspar primer basecoat

As this is going to be stepped on repeatedly I wanted to ensure I gave my paint job the best chance of survival possible, so I started with a few light coats the Valspar primer. Again, pop on your mask as this is pretty toxic, and spray only in a really well ventilated space. I set up my ‘spray booth’ outside, knocked together using some cardboard boxes that the kitchen units came in, plus newspaper around and about just to be double sure I was keeping things contained and tidy. Once the primer was dry I double checked that the surface was smooth and flat, sanding a little more in spots and ensuring all was super clean before getting the pink spray paint out.

Going neon pink in the spray booth, Ikea, Valspar, colourful DIY project

Going neon pink in the spray booth

Wow, the pink colour is as bright and bold as I had hoped! I built it up with lots of thin layers applied in opposite directions, constantly moving around the stool and ensuring every angle was covered. As this stage the paint is pretty easy to just wash away if you do get spray paint somewhere you don’t want it…

The final finish with Valspar's clear sealer

The final finish with Valspar’s clear sealer

After 24 hours of drying time I then applied the final protective coat that also gave my step stool a really great sheeny look. The clear coat seems to pretty much be a spray varnish. I gave the whole surface several thin layers but went back over the actual steps several more times to ensure these are as durable as possible. This thing makes me so happy! Not just because of it’s super sunny colour, but also at the satisfaction that I did it myself- and it was an absolute bargain!

The finished neon pink painted Ikea Bekvam step stool

The finished neon pink painted Ikea Bekvam step stool

As the kitchen itself is still very much in progress, I can’t show you the step stool actually in situ, but here it is with some of the products it will soon be living alongside. Most of the kitchen will be black and white, like these Target Tiles patterned floor tiles, so the blue Plumen pendant lights (currently on sale!) and this stool really do add some much needed accents of colour. Watch out for more kitchen refurb news as the project continues.

For more of our diverse and inspired Stylish Steals, look here. For more lifestyle posts, look here.


“Blink” Beauty: Lucy Bee’s Coconut Oil

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

On a recent trip to Portugal (did I overwhelm you with tile pics on Instagram?!?) I had to travel light so some smart thinking was required to ensure I was covered for all eventualities and circumstances (work, beach, evenings out, work, lounging about, more beach…). I looked long and hard at the huge amount of lotions and potions I like to take away with me and decided that some tough decisions needed to be made in the name of efficiency (not my strong suit). What could I swap out for more space efficient, multi-tasking options?

This was my eureka moment. I already have a stash of Lucy Bee’s coconut oil in my bathroom that I use as an occasional body moisturiser, but I know there’s more to coconut oil than that. So could this little pot of joy really solve my packing dramas for a 10 day trip?

Packing light and packing smart- the beauty of coconut oil, beauty blog, multi tasking beauty products, natural beauty, Blink London

Packing light and packing smart- the beauty of coconut oil

Do you know that coconut oil contains lauric acid and Vitamin E? Both of these things make it a really effective as a soothing and nourishing moisturiser. Goodbye night cream, hello a light application to sun-glowing skin before bed. I kept hold of my day cream though as it has a sun protection factor that is very important especially for fair skinned, freckly types like me!

I also set aside my bulky bottle of after sun and decided that I would instead indulge in the soothing, nourishing, moisturising properties of Lucy Bee, making it the perfect after-sun. It is also perfect as an intense hand and foot cream too (no unsightly dry tootsies in my flip flops!).

My fabulous Simple Micellar cleansing wipes do a grand job, even on mascara- but sometimes you need a little extra help. Instead of packing eye makeup remover, do you know that you can safely use coconut oil? In addition to cleansing we have a great coconut oil suggestion from Lucy Bee’s founder herself:

“I love using this, once I have taken off my make-up, I reapply some more to my lashes. This is very nourishing and helps to lengthen and strengthen lashes!”

I also have a mane of unruly hair that usually goes extra crazy in hot sun, especially when hitting the beach and sea swimming. This means that generally I have to pack all sorts of deep conditioners, protectors and serums. Well, not this time. Due to the Vitamin E in coconut oil it makes a really effective, moisturising treatment mask. Just smooth some thoroughly through your hair a little while before you wash it. You then may need 2 washes with shampoo to get your hair squeaky clean, and do still apply your usual conditioner, but your tresses will be silky smooth. Actually I used a small touch of Lucy Bee as a hair serum, smoothing it through damp, post wash hair. It prevented all my usual frizzles and gave a really glossy finish. So there’s another product I could leave at home; my hair serum!

Lucy, Lucy Bee's founder

Lucy, Lucy Bee’s founder

More from Lucy of Lucy Bee:

“This is why I like to call Lucy Bee a miracle oil!”

Well, after ten days with just that little pot of coconut oil doing so many jobs so very well, I must agree!

For more beauty posts, just click here. If you’d like to read more about our travels, look here.