My not-so-basic wardrobe essentials

Every year I trial (and sometimes fail at) a variety of different trends, and every year a few of those trends manage to make their way into my not-so-capsule wardrobe. This time last year I was coveting baggy beanie hats, slip on sneakers and questionable culottes, whereas this year I'm favouring feminine shapes and - wait for it - super floaty dresses. Oh the difference a year can make.

Having this blog has done a lot of good for me, but it's also allowed me to document every outfit (both the good and, ahem, the not so good) that I've sported over the past twenty four months. Almost exactly one year ag I posted a photo of myself wearing my first ever bardot top - a trend that has gradually made it's way into my every day wardrobe. The baggy beanies? Not so much.

As we start to say goodbye to summer and hello to winter I've decided to give you all a little run down of my favourite every day basics..that maybe aren't so basic after all..


BARDOT TOPS

It's no secret that I've been loving bardot tops as of late (#shouldercleavage) - they look good, they're comfortable, and they allow me to show a bit of skin without freezing to death in this not-so-sunny British summer time. This winter I'll be layering them up underneath jumpsuits and pinafore dresses to really bring down that cost per wear..


moto jackets

Leather jackets have always been a staple of mine, but it soon dawned on me - after realising most of my outfits have started to look the same - that maybe I need a few colour variations to prove that I do in fact own more than one jacket. Currently working on one jacket for each colour of the rainbow.


JUMPER DRESSES

The only thing better than a big fat comfy jumper..is a big fat comfy jumper dress that does all the hard work for you. I love anything that I can throw on in a second and make an outfit out of. You can chuck them over your every day outfit or style them up in the evening with bare legs and a big chunky pair of knee high boots. 


WESTERN BOOTS

The real reason for my love of big chunky western boots? You can layer up on the socks and no one will ever know. Granted, I also love how they look when paired with girly boho dresses and/or skin-tight skinny jeans, but when it comes to the winter it's the comfy-factor that gets a thumbs up from me. Plus bigger boots = skinnier looking legs. Bonus.


LITTLE WHITE DRESSES

There once was a time in my life when the only form of dress I'd wear would be some form of LBD, but lately I feel like little black dresses are just far too formal for every day. Whenever I'm stuck for an outfit to wear I almost always opt for something light. white and floaty. Bonus points if it's a bardot dress. Extra bonus points if I pair it with a moto jacket and biker boots.


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How to style knee high boots

I remember the first time I ever wore knee high boots. It was at a primary school disco and rather than doing the cha cha slide with the other kids my age - I was trying to impress a boy in the year above me. His name was Max and he had that spiky Gareth Gates hair going on - the true sign of a bad boy. I stomped around in my black boots all night long until I finally plucked up the courage to talk to my spiky haired stud muffin (dear lord I hope he never finds this) and, well, it didn't go as planned. He made fun of my shoes, called me a little girl (which, granted, I was only about nine years old), told me I looked like a prostitute (I didn't even know what the word meant at that age) and then proceeded to tell me that he had a girlfriend. Sob.

From that day on I had it drilled into my head that knee high boots were absolutely not for me. I actually remember attempting a similar look a few years down the line at a girly sleepover, only this time it wasn't a boy that commented on the boots, but one of my best friends at the time. She also dropped the p-bomb on me. I ran downstairs, hid inside my sleeping bag and cried. Of course, that period of my life in which I let others determine my taste in footwear has since ended, and I'm now an avid lover of all kinds of long boots - as you've probably gathered by my recent ensembles. Today I decided to put together a post featuring some of my new favourite long boots, and how to style them up this season.

 

 

 

WITH SKINNY JEANS

This is probably the easiest and least intimidating way to wear knee high boots, since there's technically no real skin on show - which means both added warmth, and you can match them with your jeans to make them as inconspicuous as you like. If you're a freak like me that feels the cold even in summer, this sort of look is perfect because it means you can layer up just about anything underneath. Fluffy thermal socks? Perfectly acceptable with this outfit.

 
How to style knee high boots
How to style knee high boots
 

 

 

WITH ALL BLACK

Okay okay, so what exactly doesn't work with an all black outfit? If you've mustered up the courage to get your thighs out then something like this is perfect. Think of it as your intermediate long boot look. It's understated, simple, and it balances out the impact of walking around town in thigh high boots. Plus, it works for both day and night, which is a bonus. Of course you can wear anything with anything, but my advice is to keep it casual with these babies and let the shoes do the talking.

 
 

 

 

WITH FLOATY DRESSES

This is probably my favourite way to wear long boots, which is probably no news to you guys considering half of my recent outfit posts look a little something like the snap on the right. Sorry bout it. I feel like knee high boots are quite an aggressive style of footwear, so lately I've been loving pairing them with floaty, frilly dresses to balance that out a little. Any colour works, but I find white dresses compliment just about every colour and style of boot. Beware for pizza stains.

 
How to style knee high boots

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* This post is in collaboration with EGO *

The big liquid lipstick review

I don't know whether I should be proud or ashamed of the amount of liquid lipsticks I own - especially considering the fact that the majority of them are all a remarkably similar shade of nude and/or pinky nude. And - let's face it - they're pretty much all matte as well. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit. 

But anyway. I've been hoarding these babies for a good few years now and - after realising I had accumulated over one hundred of them (gulp) - I thought it was about time I did a full in-depth review on my favourites. Where you can buy them, and what they're best for. Why I love them, and why you should too.

I mean, that kind of justifies that amount I have, right? I can totally put all of this spending down as research. Doing it for you guys, etc etc. And whilst I am mostly joking, I do like to think I know a good liquid lippie when I see one. It's not been easy (you know, painstakingly playing with lipstick all day and all that) but I've finally narrowed it down to the most notable. Wallets at the ready!

 

 

CAILYN EXTREME MATTE TINT

I received one of these in a Love Me Beauty box a few months ago but neglected to try it up until recently. Whilst a little more drying than some of my faves, these babies absolutely do not budge. The matte version comes in twenty four different shades but Cailyn also stock velvet, mousse and metallic varieties too. At £14.95 they're some of the more expensive liquid lippies in my collection, but I definitely recommend the investment if you're looking for an every day lip colour or something super specific.

 

CIATE LIQUID VELVET

The Ciate Liquid Velvets have to be some of my most favourite liquid lipsticks ever - and that's a pretty bold statement coming from the liquid lip obsessive that I am. At £17 each, they're some of the most expensive that I've come across, but in my opinion they are absolutely worth it. The finish is matte, but the product itself never dries down completely, so they're really comfortable on the lips. They come in thirteen different shades, including a really unique blue / grey shade. Definitely worth a go.

 

FREEDOM PRO MELTS

You guys know how much of a Freedom makeup fanatic I am, but one of the best products I've come across since discovering the brand is their Pro Melts that come in at just £3 a piece. The Pro Melts come in twenty eight different shades ranging from nudes to navy blues and are all super pigmented with a glossy finish. They last around 2-4 hours on the lips, but if you want something more matte and long-lasting try blotting the gloss with a tissue, reapplying, and blotting again.

 

 

THE BALM MEET MATT(E) HUGHES

A recent obsession of mine are the Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes. I'd never really heard much about the Balm's liquid lipsticks, but decided to give them a go after seeing some swatches online. At £13/50. they're not the cheapest you'll come across, but they're one of the more comfortable matte liquid lippies I've tried. There are currently twelve shades available - most of them airing on the nude or pink side of things. The colour range isn't amazing, but the product itself is one of the best.

 

SLEEK MATTE ME

Another recent drugstore favourite of mine are the Sleek Matte Mes - specifically the shade birthday suit. At £4.99 each they're super affordable but the quality is great. They have an almost creamy consistency that dries down matte in less than a minute, and whilst they're a teensy bit drying, a little bit of lip balm underneath solves that issue completely. The Matte Me liquid lipsticks come in twelve different shades and have a good mix of both natural and vampy colours. 

 

RIMMEL APOCALIPS / SHOW OFFS

Unfortunately, as far as I know these babies aren't available in stores any more, but they're easily accessible online and - better yet - they usually cost you a couple of quid compared to the original £6.49 retail price. They come in around sixteen different shades (four of them matte) and last for around 6 - 8 hours on the lips, so super long lasting. The product takes a little while to dry down (so you might have to keep your gob open for a good minute or so) but once they dry they're nice and comfortable to wear.


NYX LIQUID SUEDE

I thought I couldn't love the NYX Liquid Suedes more than I already did, until they decided to add another twelve shades to the collection. The new shades are currently only available in the US (although click here for a sneaky way to get them in the UK..) but there are still twelve other amazing shades available now, including everything from a greyish blue to a super vibrant purple. They're matte but comfortable, insanely pigmented and take just a few seconds to dry down on the lips. By far my favourite liquid lipstick on the drugstore at just £6.50 each.

 

MUA VELVET LIP LACQUER

A surprising discovery for me was the MUA Velvet Lip Lacquers. At just £3 each they're incredibly pigmented, and come in twenty one shades including white (!) and pastel purple. The product is highly scented, which can be both a turn on or off for some people, but there's no scent once they dry down, which takes little to no time at all. Try not to layer these up as they can get a little crumbly if you over apply, but once you've mastered the application these budget buys are pretty great.

 

MILANI AMORE MATTE LIP CREAM

Another recent addition to the liquid lippy fam are the Milani Amore Matte Lip Creams, which come in a whopping twenty eight different shades. I've heard so much about these, so decided to give one a go and I'm absolutely obsessed. The formula is quick drying and completely matte, whilst still being really comfortable to wear. The colour is really pigmented and at £8 a piece here in the UK ($8.99 if you're in the US) they're a touch pricier than other drugstore brands, but the quality of the product itself is tip top.

 

 

I HEART MAKEUP LIP LAVA

The most affordable of the bunch is the I Heart Makeup Lip Lavas which are a dupe for Too Faced's Melted Liquid Lipsticks. For less than three quid the packaging is super cute, and the product inside is pretty great as well. The colour range is pretty limited with just five colours available, but they colours they do have are all amazing. Since the formulation is a gloss finish they're not the most long lasting lippies on the market, but they fade nicely and - since they  contain Vitamin E - they're nice and moisturising too.

 

KAT VON D EVERLASTING LIQUID LIPSTICK

The Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks recently made their away into my collection and - I have to admit - they are absolutely, 100% worth the hype. At £15 each they're not exactly the cheapest, but they come in thirty different shades so chances are you'll be able to find at least one perfect shade to invest in. They do exactly what they say on the tin, in that they last and last and last. You can pick up a deluxe sample on Love Me Beauty right now for just a fiver using the code 'cocochic50'.

 

BAGSY LIP VELVET

Bagsy are a brand that I've heard very little about, but the general jist is that they're beauty products you can just chuck in your bag. Get it? I think the Bagsy Lip Velvets might have been my first ever liquid lipsticks, but because I'd never heard of the brand I wasn't in a rush to try them. Once I realised the potential of liquid lippies I dug these out and gave them a go and they're actually really, really good! They only come in four shades which isn't ideal, but the formulation is super matte and comfortable to wear.

 

COLOURPOP ULTRA MATTES

The Colourpop Ultra Mattes were the reason I became so obsessed with liquid lipsticks, and since Colourpop now ship internationally I don't feel guilty about recommending them any more! There are around thirty eight shades in the Ultra Matte range, including everything from dark greys to emerald greens. They are a little drying compared to other matte liquid lipsticks, but a little bit of lip balm underneath solves that problem. They come in at just £4.50 each. Bargain.

 

NYX LIP LINGERIE

Whilst these aren't quite as amazing as the Liquid Suedes, the NYX Lip Lingeries still hold a very firm place in my heart. If you're a nude lip obsessive like me, these definitely deserve a look in. They come in twelve not-so-different-bit-equally-amazing nude shades and dry down to a super matte finish. They're a little more sheer than the liquid suedes, but they're nicely pigmented and perfect for every day. And at just £6.50 each you could even pick up the entire collection without breaking the bank.


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Fashion Week Survival Guide

I've been going to fashion week since I was around seventeen. I say that as if I've been some sort of glamourous streetstyle star since I was a teenager. Trust me, it's not as glamourous nor impressive as it sounds. The first year I bluffed my way into Somerset House and spent five days wandering around the exhibitions pretending I was a somebody. The second year I spent my summer savings on a hotel room just so I could stand at the back of one single show that - ironically - I couldn't really see. In those six years I like to think I've experienced just about every different aspect of fashion week - from being denied access into the exhibition to being a part of the Burberry show. I'm no ADR, but these are my top tips to survival the week..


Plan ahead

Planning ahead is absolutely vital for a fashion week goer - this goes for everything from outfits to accommodation. If you live in London, you have the luxury of heading home at the end of the night, but if your'e an outsider like I am it's a good idea to book your accommodation early to avoid disappointment and get the best deal possible. Call me a grandma, but I also like to carry around a written itinerary for the shows, just in case I lose signal or run out of juice on my phone. Be sure to have a back up plan as well - tube delays and traffic jams will happen, and they will make you late.
 

Be realistic

There are so many things going on during fashion week that you'll feel tempted to say yes to just about everything that comes your way. Prosecco..parties - all of these things sound liek so much fun at the time, but if you're going to survive the week (yes, fashion week flu really is a thing) then you'll need to be realistic about what you're able to do in such a short amount of time. Travelling to and from opposite ends of London is time consuming, so instead of squeezing as much as possible into your schedule (and stressing out when/if you wind up missing your favourite show) take it easy. You'll treasure than extra ten minutes you get to sit down, trust me.
 


Bring flats

Unless you have the luxury of a driver following you around everywhere, chances are you'll be on foot at least some of the time during fashion week. You might think you have soles of steel, but trust me - after running around during rush hour in six inch stilettos - your feet will be yearning for a pair of flats. Don't do what I did and try and tough it out for the sake of looking the part. Swollen ankles are not this seasons must-have accessory and having to literally peel your bloodied shoes off of your feet at the end of the day is not a situation I'd recommend to anyone.
 

Stay energised

Fashion week is snack central, but when you're out and about for five days in a row, twelve hours at a time, a pack of Propercorn just isn't going to cut it. Of course the dream would be to schedule in a six course meal at the Shard every day, but when your diary is so jam packed sometimes you might just have to make do with some on the go snacks instead. That doesn't mean you should just shovel in sweets and champagne at any given moment (although I know the temptation). Whilst it might give you an energy boost for a while, it's real food that will keep you going throughout the day. Keep a protein bar in your bag for those emergency situations.
 

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Love Me Beauty Review - September

Last month I travelled up to London for a very exciting photoshoot with none other than Kat Von D (the brand, sadly not the lady herself) in celebration of their super exciting launch with Love Me Beauty. As you guys know, I'm a big LMB fanatic, so I was super honoured to find my face appear on the website when shopping for my favourite Kat Von D goodies earlier this month (be sure to check out my liquid lipstick hacks as well!). Now it might just be the excitement of my face featuring on the website, or maybe, just maybe it's the excitement of KVD coming to the UK, but you guys managed to crash the site on the day of the KVD launch. Good job. So now the craziness has settled, I thought I'd throw up my full review of this month's box (and trust me, it's a good'n) and give you guys time to pick up your favourite pieces. Don't forget to use the code 'cocochic50' for 50% off of your first Love Me Beauty box, taking a box full of Kat Von D down to just a fiver. I mean, you couldn't even buy one product for that - let alone five. Let's get onto the reviews, shall we?

 

OMOROVICZA MASK & BALM

During my shoot with Kat Von D I also wound up staying behind and helping out with a little skincare tutorial with Omorovicza - a brand I've been dying to try for a while now. I filmed a few short clips with Margaret - the co-founder of Omorovicza - who got me super excited about trying the products, and I was practically a convert by the end of the shoot. The Thermal Cleansing Balm is amazing at removing makeup, but my favourite product by far has to be the Deep Cleansing Mask. It left my skin not only feeling good, but also looking pretty great (if I do say so myself). I actually spent the rest of the afternoon out and about. 100% makeup free - something I hadn't done in a while.

 

 

AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES SKINCARE

I've been using Aromatherapy Associates products for years, so I was super excited to see their name pop up in this month's box! I mostly know AA for their bath oils (which by the way, are like crack for your bath - once you start, you'll never stop) but I have tried a few of their skincare products in the past - including their Renewing Rose serum which I loved. I'm still yet to try either of the products but I'll definitely be popping them in my travel bag the next time I go away. The Renewing Rose Cleanser is supposed to be amazing for radiance (um, yes please) and the Rose Skin Tonic is a great way of finishing your cleansing routine. Plus it smells good. Real good.

 

KAT VON D EVERLASTING LIQUID LIPSTICK

I'm a self-confessed liquid lipstick obsessive, so when I heard that Love Me Beauty were going to be stocking some of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks I nearly spontaneously combusted, since I've heard they're some of the best. Saying that, I can indeed confirm that they are seriously, seriously good. I have the shades Outlaw (a bright red) and Double Dare (a nudey-pink Kylie Jenner shade) and I'm already eyeing up a ton of other shades in the collection. This is going to get dangerous. I filmed a video all about my liquid lipstick hacks over on the product page, so be sure to check it (and my sweaty faced self) out.

 

KAT VON D STUDDED KISS LIPSTICK

Mini lipsticks give me all kinds of feelings. When I see miniature things I just want to collect them all (which is pretty much how I'm feeling about everything KVD right now), but I also feel a lot less wasteful stocking up on sample sizes. I don't know about you guys, but I don't think I've ever, ever, finished a full lipstick in my life. What can I say? I'm indecisive / a hoarder. The fact that these are smaller (a) give me hope that I may be able to finish a lipstick one day and (b) give me more space in my handbag for - you guessed it - more lipsticks. I now have three shades (Lolita, Magick and Bachelorette) so I think it's safe to say I'm a big fan of these babies too.



KAT VON D TATTOO LINER

I know you've all been waiting for this one. I've been hearing so many great things about the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner that I was almost nervous to try it in case it didn't live up to the hype. But boy oh boy, did it live up to the hype. I've never been amazing at winged liner - in fact, I pretty much have to dedicate my entire morning to making sure my eyes are at least remotely even (sticky tape also works a treat). When I tried this liner in Trooper for the first time I managed to do both my eyes in just a few minutes. And they look pretty good (and even!) if I do say so myself. It's now a firm favourite in my makeup collection. I have three back ups already.

ONE LAST THING..

Thank you guys SO much for getting me into the final 10 for the #iamfreedom makeup awards! I honestly can't believe it. If you want to help me get into the final round (and make all my dreamz come tru) then it would mean the world to me if you voted for me (Steph) down below! You can vote three times, per day, per person, per device. Thank you to everyone that's gotten me this far!x


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