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On feeling like a girl October 1, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Makeup/Cosmetics, Travel.
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Generally, I don’t really care how I look when I travel. Let’s be honest – I am not out here to “pull” anyone, I’m here to enjoy a country and experience the best it has to offer. Whether or not I look presentable or not isn’t really the priority here. In addition, I’m travelling. I don’t have that same easy access to girly bits and pieces, to straighteners and hairdryers and far too many pairs of shoes. If I was going to worry about my looks, I would be fighting a losing battle. Plus, if someone I meet is going to judge me based on whether or not they think I look good enough, then my normal approach to life still applies – they simply aren’t worth knowing.

As it happens, I think, most people don’t judge me. I have sported some pretty funky hairstyles these past weeks, I’ve spent nearly every day makeup free and blinking like a newborn foal in the sun, I’ve worn the same clothes all the time (and a secret relief it has been too).

However, that doesn’t stop the girly qualities catching up every now and then. Those days that actually anyone of any gender, of any inclination, can have. The morning when they wake up a little fragile, for some reason not approaching the world with quite the same casual ease as they normally do. And when that happens, you either battle on in your androgyny, or you accept the situation and do something to make yourself feel better. For me, I dyed my hair – no easy feat I belatedly realised, in the restricted facilities of even the best hostel. I also put makeup on – I may rarely wear it, but I have a basic little selection with me for just such an “emergency”.

And today? I feel pretty. People have told me I look nice (OK, drunken people, but who’s counting?!). Tomorrow, I’ll be off the makeup again. But for today, I needed to feel like a girl.

Dressember Days 20 & 21 December 22, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Dressember, Fashion, Makeup/Cosmetics.
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I can’t work out what happened to my Dressember Day 19 outfit. I had a lovely day going to see Tron: Legacy and then enjoying my solstice dinner, so that seems a pretty good excuse for forgetting to take a photo of the dress I wore. I did wear one though, honest guv! And, just to prove how cold it is, my hair actually froze on the way home, and it was still -11 when I arrived at work on the Monday morning!

Frosty Hair

Frosty Hair!

Anyway, Day 20 of Dressember was a rather boring day, I was dressed for warmth and that was all that mattered for me. After all, we still have the snow, so  wore a slip and a jumper under my jumper dress, and gave it a bit more structure with the waistcoat. I think it worked!

Dressember Day 20 What I Wore

Day 20, Nice and Warm!

Day 21 of Dressember was much more fun. I wanted to be all Christmassy, so I painted my nails sparkly red, put on my Dorothy Shoes, and wore a lovely velvet dress. I pranced and preened around the office all day, so I must have been in a good mood. The evening  was spent in the pub, but unfortunately I realised I had locked myself out of my house, and I had to spend the night at Lysy’s before the letting agents opened in the morning. Not my brightest moment! Consequently I am working from home today, but I am still wearing a dress, and will photograph it later!

red dorothy shoes

Buying my "No Place Like Home" shoes!

Dressember Day 21 What I Wore

Day 21 Feeling Festive

I also painted my nail a sparkly seasonal blue, I am loving having long nails finally!

Sparkly Blue Nail Polish

Sparkly Blue Nail Polish

What I Wore | Summer Colours (& Shoes #5, and 6!) April 17, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Makeup/Cosmetics, Vintage, What I Wore.
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No, don’t worry, I haven’t been going mad and happily wearing three pairs of shoes at once. But I have had a few outfits this week that I have liked – and the weather has been nice – so I have three outfit shots to share with you.

Outfit Shot - Red and Pink

The outfit above is one of the first times that I have tried to combine red and pink. I have been leaning more and more towards fancy-pants colour combinations, and this was the time to let rip! I felt the deep pink and the bright red worked in a way that was obvious, but not blinding!

Dress: Unknown
Jumper: Primark
Tights: Primark
Heels: Dotty Ps

Outfit shot - Studs and Knit

I am not as sure about this outfit. It looked quite cool from behind, with the amazing huge studs and the over-sized chunky knit – but from the front it looked a little… slouchy. That said, I wanted to be relaxed – and I was darn comfy!

Jumper: Vintage
Skull shirt: New Look
Jeans: Topshop
Studded boots: Topshop

Outfit shot - Summery in Yellow

Finally, my favourite outfit. Today was beautiful – hot, sunny, absolutely wonderful. Consequently I thought the time had come to take in this beautiful summer dress I bought on eBay. I folded it in on the seams and simple sewed it up inside out – it barely took a few seconds, but it worked and fit like a dream! It also turns out I can wear yellow! Whilst in town I nipped into Space NK in a fit of excitement, to buy my first gorgeous Lime Crime lipstick, from the wonderful and immensely talented Doe Deere. I was so pleased it lived up to expectations and was as bold and colourful as I had hoped for!

Dress: Vintage, eBay
Heels: Tommy Hilfiger, TK Maxx

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

What I Wore | The Princess Vibe (& Shoe #1) March 18, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Makeup/Cosmetics, What I Wore.
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Look! It is light enough to take an outfit shot outside when I get home from work! This means spring is finally on its way, and I really couldn’t be happier about that. You do have to excuse the blustery look, however – the wind was playing havoc with my skirt and the camera decided I needed a flash! I also think I probably ought not to wear my hair up like this, it makes my neck look odd.

I felt like a princess all day in this dress and skirt combo. The summery Laura Ashley dress rarely gets worn, but with the lace layers underneath it actually looked pretty cool!

What I Wore: Floral Dress

Dress: Laura Ashley
Skirt: Thrifted
Belt: Brand Unknown
Heels: The first pair worn in the Shoe Challenge – Topshop pink wedges.

I also thought I would share my lipstick from last weekend with you, and I was really pleased with how it worked. I lined my lips with simple lip liner, layered a simple warm red onto my lips, and then patted on an orange powder. I thought it looked quite funky.

Orange Lipstick

Do you like it?

Why do we wear makeup? October 14, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Makeup/Cosmetics, Rants.
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I don’t wear makeup much. I am just not really a makeup girl. For me, I am aware that whilst my habit of eating too much salt produces black bags, I also have near perfect skin. Makeup neither completes me nor feels necessary, and I take pleasure in only wearing makeup when I feel I want to. Makeup, to me, is just great fun!

Lime Crime Makeup

Lime Crime Bright and Colourful Makeup

 (Image from the wonderful and bright Doe Deere, making makeup fun!)

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-makeup in any way shape or form. I, in fact, love the vibrant shades, the subtle blending, sweeps of dark liner and rosebud lips. But rather than having this every day (and losing precious sleep time!), I choose to only where it when I want to or when it is needed, and am happy to go bare on the days in-between.

At work this week, however, I experienced something upsetting. On a day without makeup I trotted pertly into the office, where a certain member enquired in a concerned fashion about my health. “Are you OK?! Just you have really big black bags under your eyes!”. I stumbled to find an answer, before explaining that no, I was not ill, I just didn’t feel the need to cover my flaws with makeup and that the bags were due to too much salt, which is my form of heroin!

So if girls are being told they look “wrong” or “ill” when they don’t wear makeup, where does that leave us?

Does that mean that those with perceived flaws should coat themselves in makeup day and night, even if they don’t want to? Does that mean the joys of a bright eyeliner, a sweep of spangly glitter or a completely different work of art on your face should be superceded by cosmetic work to correct faces, to fix flaws and to make people look presentable? Does it ruin the fun of makeup, and make it turn from something glorious, feminist and fun and into something designed purely to please the opposite sex, to confirm to societal pressures?

I have no doubt that part of all of these contribute to why we girls feel the need or the desire to wear makeup. And I think that should change. We should wear makeup because it is fun, enjoyable, because it makes us feel better about ourselves, or a dull day, or a questionable outfit. It should be something we choose to wear, not something we need, and definitely not something we have to wear.

Choice, people! It is all about choice!

Do you ever feel pressured to wear makeup or clothes that you don’t necessarily want to? What do you do about it?

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