Win a $1,000 Credit?

1

Mmmm… Yyyyeeeeeppp!

So here’s the thing; I don’t, quite much never, post promotions / contests. (Okei, you got me – I did do the January sales) but beyond that – Never ever! It’s just not my thing. But, I digress. Gabriel & Co. Fine Jewelry is having several promotions at the moment. This is the one I actually thought ‘hey, can’t get easier than that! Maybe a reader or 2 may be interested in this.’ and decided to post about it. Because hey, I like simple 🙂

The promotion is to visit the Gabriel website, sign up to their email newsletter, and automatically be entered to win a $1000 store credit! Pretty cool, pretty simple & pretty shiny!

If you are interested, just click the following banner. If not, it’s all cool 😉


What Do Women Want, Fine Jewelry

PS- I am unsure if this is restricted to only U.S. citizens, or if this applicable internationally. (Fingers crossed for Int’l, I would LLLLOOOOVVVEEE $1,000 store credit! Does that count for my shopping ban?) There are also additional contests going on at the moment on the Gabriel NY site, so if this IS your thing, make sure to check out the social media campaign/competition as well.

Here’s to hoping this adds 1 more win to my ‘people winning stuff off my site’ streak! 😀

-Mliae

*Feature photo kindly uh-hum ‘borrowed’ from the Gabriel New York website.

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Holiday Gift Ideas Part ll.

2

Hi there 🙂

I wanted to write a follow-up gift ideas post, this time separated into categories by receiver. Many people have completed their holiday shopping already in June (ugh) but I know that I am not the only person who takes their time and then freaks out when I look at the calendar and realize I barely have time for shipping. *All items I am listing will make it wherever its going by Christmas 😉

For the man in your life:


“Burgundy Melange Merino Jumper”


Made from up cycled leather and firehose, this Elvis & Kresse Wallet with Coin Pocket is definitely a hit!

Green gifts for the eco-friendly:

holiday giving plate love justly

This newly marked down Holiday Giving Plate from Love Justly

olive boat

Ceramic Olive Boat from Globein. Love this!

Arc-Cuff_1000x

This hand forged in USA Arc Cuff from Bead & Reel

For the Luxury – lover:

ANINE BING SILK CAMISOLE - RED LEO

ANINE BING SILK CAMISOLE – RED LEO

Scarf - Abstract Plaid Silk - Darby Scott

Scarf – Abstract Plaid Silk – Darby Scott


15% off everything using code TREAT15 – live now!

Sophisticated Suede Shopper
Sophisticated Suede Shopper

For the new home owner:

One World Trading Company

Marimekko Home – Kitchen and Dining

BED_Makki_Indigo.jpg

This gorgeous hand made Makki Indigo Duvet

GlobeIn_Comfort_-118_1024x1024

This too fun eyeglass holder from Globein

So that’s it for today. I really hope you found something that will fit your gifting needs! If you didn’t, but you are still looking, take the time to quickly check out these sites. Many of them offer a ton of options and I just picked one fave of mine to post here. Because, well…I love it, so hopefully you will too!

Happy Hunting!

-Mliae

 

Great Holiday Gift Ideas!

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It’s the last day of November and I can’t believe all the Christmas everywhere that’s been happening for the last month already! Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year, so I thought it might be acceptable to post a Holiday gift guide post on the last day of November. Just for those of us that live places on the globe that have to wait weeks for shipping sometimes.

So here we are; Some truly lust-worthy holiday gifts from reliable suppliers to fit every need on your list!:

Ajjava Stocking

from: John Robshaw

green-elf-outfit.jpg

Who doesn’t need an elf outfit?!

Loungewear_Blue_Long_Silk_Robe_Kimono_cba43bcb-347b-4968-b5c2-c2e3807c25c0_2000x

Gorgeous 100% silk kimono

amazon gift card

Simple packaging Amazon Gift Card. Perfect for the December Birthday!

koolaburra

I actually had a request to find these, so I am listing these Koolaburra by Ugg boots here now.

04_ANINE-BING-ROSEMARY-SILK-SLIP-BLACK-AB20-095-08_109.jpg


ANINE BING ROSEMARY SILK SLIP – BLACK

Essex Tote - Darby Scott
Essex Tote – Darby Scott

ozeri glasses

These great glasses from Ozeri are the perfect gift for the minimalist in your life. (I am actually collecting these!) They are double-insulated glass, so perfect for both hot and cold drinks, thus eliminating the need for lots of glass and mug clutter. I love multi-functional items!

BH_seashellknife_large

This Shell Chevron Steel Cheese Knife – a welcome addition to any holiday party!

Yellow Tie Print Cotton Percale Single Pillowcase
Yellow Tie Print Cotton Percale Single Pillowcase


Sams�e & Sams�e Liam Nx - Clear Cream


Sams�e & Sams�e Liam Nx – Clear Cream


Large Wonder Woman Cuff

from: Bead Reel


Gold Cashmere Scarf

from: Love Justly

Pure Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater for Men
Pure Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater for Men

Find anything you like? I know I’m salivating over this list right now.

Thanks for reading and Happy start to the Holiday season!

-Mliae

*Post contains affiliate links

Introducing Hiperion Brand!

14

Hello everyone 🙂

I love design. I’m also a business nerd and I have a soft spot in my heart for start-ups. This created a deadly combination for me when I stumbled upon Hiperion. This new label appeals to both hemispheres of my brain and so I kind of HAD to learn more and do a write-up. This was an opportunity I could not allow to pass me by.

Hiperion is a new , MADE IN ITALY high-fashion label (registered in 27/09/2017 with the Milan Chamber of Commerce). Three young gentleman in their 20’s founded, co-own and design for Hiperion.

 

Simone, Alessandro and Giacomo met during their studies at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts) in Milan. These 3 men work, live and party together in a (divided?) 3 level English-style home. They say it’s a den of artists. Judging by the mental picture that was given to me, I am inclined to agree! In all honesty, it sounds like they have it all working out well!

 

I was curious as to how these talented young men found themselves together and taking the giant leap into a very deep pool of business and design. Simone explained to me that ‘Giacomo’s mother has an ironing and finishing company. Her passion for art & fashion being so great that it took her away from her hometown of Modena. Alessandro has always been a fashion enthusiast, and decided to pursue his dreams.’ And Simone himself stopped playing professional football (Soccer, for the Americans) after several disappointments and decided to ‘hearten & drown in art, to follow what has always been a passion for him, fashion.’

 

I’m going to highlight a few of my favourite designs for you, so that you can see the level of craftsmanship that goes into each piece.

hiperion hf

Each piece has its own unique style. I really love the way that the Hiperion brand has the ability to take inspiration from the every day and transform it into something luxurious.

hiperion velvet.jpeg

I am so drawn to this velvet and silk suit. This piece would be fitting for both man and woman (with different tailoring, of course). But the real reason I wanted to highlight this suit is the detail. I mean, just look at the buttons! Every detail has been made to compliment the outfit as a whole. This is the kind of thing that we really don’t see anymore and I am so happy that attention to detail is coming back!

hiperion fireballs

These designs are not your typical suit. Therefore, one must be creative in the way one wears it. I love that this man wore a regular Tee-shirt with his firecracker designed suit. Hiperion has collaborated with an impressive amount of Italian celebrities in the past year. Some of these collaborations include: Paolo Ruffini for Colorado (Hiperion created 2 dresses for this campaign), Music First (a record company in Milan), and for the tour of Eman. Earlier in February, they held their Hiperion launch show in Milan.

hiperion jester 2

hiperion jester

I really like this suit. Hiperion does not use man-made fabrics. They use silks, velvets, satin and now linen (for the festivals). I wanted to post 2 pictures of this because you can see how the duality blends nicely together in different light and from varying angles.

hiperion daffodil

My favourite part of this suit is the green buttons on the lapel. This tiny detail screams mad-hatter at me and I can’t get enough of it!

Hiperion butterfly

This final shot is to display usage in real life. Plus, I think the butterfly design is cool …especially on the luxury denim-like jacket. This is one of the things I admire about the brands’ mission. Hiperion wants that people feel comfortable wearing luxury every day, not just for special occasions. I could not agree more with this! I have been saying it myself for years, especially when wondering out loud what happened to the days when people took time and made an effort with their appearance! How did we go from every day luxury, well designed clothes that were made to last, to yoga/sweat pants and Tee-shirts? I am so SO happy to have discovered a design house that agrees with me. And THAT is the biggest reason I want to share it with you.

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity for a bit of Question/answer with Simone. Please read it below:

 

Q – What made the 3 of you decide to take the big jump into starting your own design label?

A – The decision to launch our clothing brand at 22 is mainly due to the strong personality that characterizes us. We are resourceful, courageous, sincere, and we believe in ourselves. We young people are capable of great things, we just have to wake up.

 

Q – How have you found it, being a start-up in such a competitive industry?

A – Being so young and alone as a start-up in such a difficult sector is not easy. Being taken into consideration is not easy, there is a lot of skepticism due to the young age. However, we do not pay attention to these things, we work, we share our love and step by step we will get some satisfaction. However, we also realize that there is a lot of admiration from experts in the sector, given that despite everything we try!

 

Q – I adore your designs. So chic, so different! From where do you take your inspiration this season?

A – Thanks for the compliment! Our inspiration derives from our daily life. We live together, study together, eat and sleep together. Ideas are born in our heads and meet spontaneously without even having to talk about it. It’s amazing it’s fantastic at the same time.

 

Q – You do mainly Menswear, but also Women’s wear. Correct?

A – The collection was born mainly for men, but we had numerous requests from the female public. We tried some clothes on girls and it was really fantastic. The man style worn by a woman is something totally out of the box that is already beautiful for this reason. We must break the pre-set balances. We are currently working on a collection solely dedicated to women.

 

Q – Do you also make any kind of accessories?

A – As accessories we made some rings on request for special customers, like some Italian singers but I can not mention them yet. In the projects there are accessories, like rings, bracelets and cologne but above all the hats, in Borsalino style.

 

Q – If I wanted to purchase an item, what is the process? (Are they made custom to order or is there a selection from which to choose, and then tailored according to size?) What if you have a customer that lives outside of Italy?

A – We currently expect it to take a couple of months to sell. We are structuring the website from where it will be possible to purchase our products. The only project we are facing now is to be able to see the stuff directly on site in Dubai, but for this we must proceed calmly. We are very followed by abroad, I do not deny that it would not surprise me if we initially became more popular abroad than in Italy. Let’s say that for now we are trying to give value to the brand, through collaborations with Italian TV, actors and singers.

 

Q – About what is the price range?

A – The price will have an average range between € 800 and € 1500 initially. The dress made for Paolo Ruffini is totally in velvet, lined internally in silk, embroidered in lamé and with more than 200 Swarovski positioned by hand. Those who buy Hiperion certainly buy a lot of quality, beyond our passion.

 

Q – Where should we look for you? Any future showings that you know of, where you will be?

A – We hope in two years to be at the top, and to share our passion with the whole world. We are very active on instagram and we interact a lot with our followers. We are open to any kind of collaboration, especially with foreign countries. We had an interesting proposal for the Coachella Festival, but maybe it’s not the right time yet. Surely we will affirm a lot in the world of entertainment in Italy, so look at a lot of tv ahaha ! We recently made the first fashion show in Milan and we would like to do two a year! We will send you the invitation and you can share it with all your friends and followers, we are waiting for you!

 

Q – Thank you so much for your time. Are there any words which you would like to leave with us?

A – Hiperion has a very specific mission. Break the patterns. Make people wear something exclusive in everyday life, without people feeling out of place. Hiperion goes beyond mere fashion, what is created has the same care as a work of art. Hiperion is not a clothing and stop brand, it’s something more. Something that wants to live with people, that needs continuous passion and love, to give and receive, without emotions, things die.

Hiperion label

And with those beautiful words, I will wrap up this post. The Hiperion brand website is currently in the launching phase.

The best way to make contact is via:

INSTAGRAM: @hiperion_brand

VERO: @SimonePellegrini

And EMAIL: info@hiperionbrand.com

 

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

 

The Minimalist Closet: An Intro

33

Hello there 🙂

This is my closet. You’ve seen this pic a few times, especially after I decided to keep only my natural fibre or sustainable clothing options.

I’ve decided to start a new experiment series regarding the minimalist wardrobe.

I browse the internet… A LOT. I’ve noticed that minimalism and the capsule wardrobe have garnered a ton of attention as the new trend. I hate to admit it, but I have to laugh when reading about the ‘French Wardrobe’ or the 33 items for 3 months – trend. You see, in my mind, it seems to be more a case of people wanting what they don’t have (i.e.; time, space, clean lines, easy decisions) than a case of really taking stock of what they have and using it to its full potential. This isn’t always the case, but it seems to be more so than not. People who have, want less. People who have not, want more. Welcome to the vicious cycle called Trends in Consumerism.

I live in Europe. It’s true that the storage space is minimal here, and also that the clothes cost a small fortune. (Especially when you have mentally/physically or age-wise outgrown H&M and all the other fast fashion warehouses.) It’s also true that basics need to be of good quality, since you will get the most wear out of them & that trendy items should be kept to a minimum. (The rules to the French Capsule Wardrobe state that you can buy unlimited basic, but purchase only 5 trendy items per fashion season: Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter) This seems normal. I’m not sure who is able to buy an entire wardrobe of items every few months. (Basics or not) I go months without buying anything sometimes, but I guess that’s because I have more pressing financial priorities. I have a difficult time with refraining from purchases sometimes because I go ga-ga over items that are different. If the sleeves are different on an otherwise normal cashmere sweater or silk blouse, it will be mine. Fortunately for me, this is a rare occurrence when it means the item in question must also be 100% natural fabric. Unfortunately, there are 2 such items at the moment which are waiting patiently for my purchase. Hmmmm….

I see people going all Mari Kondo crazed. No, I have not read the book. Yes, I do know how to fold. How could I not, after spending the years of my youth working in retail? (Whew! Sure am glad to be done with that job…) I’m sure that Kondo is a wiz at what she does. But, I mean really, do you only have things in your home that ‘spark joy’? My cleaning supplies do not overjoy me when I hold them. It’s more of an ‘Uggghhhh…do I have to?’ My empty nondescript flower pots in storage don’t make me smile. But they are a necessary part of my life when spring comes for sprouting. The piles of bills, tax forms and papers on my desk don’t make me happy, but I would be S.O.L. without them. I think its the same with your wardrobe. Of course, we NEED to have things that make us happy, feel sexy, feel great! But wouldn’t we be missing something if that’s all we had? I mean, don’t get me wrong. If I could wear what I felt best in all day, every day – I totally would! But if I’m going to drop 100€+ on a pair of trousers, you better believe I won’t be wearing them to clean the house, run the dog, or netflix & chill with my guy. I’m going to wear the shittiest uniform I own to clean, sweats to run, and something pretty – yet at least mildly comfortable to hang in with babes. However, I do get the basic premise of Kondo’s method, and I agree. She is correct in that if you love the items you own (clothes, for our purposes) then you will be happy in your space. You will take care of your special items, and you will get the maximum amount of wear out of an item that makes you happy when you slip into it. Absolutely! I always say that I would rather have 5 items of clothing that make me feel Ah-Mazing instead of 20 that are ‘Meh’. The fact remains though, that most of us aren’t models. We have active and demanding daily lives and we need clothes that can cater to that aspect of us. So the question (1 of many) is: How do we make this work with a ‘minimalist wardrobe’.

I like this post by Susie Faux, who’s been an advocate of the Capsule Wardrobe for the past 30 years. She outlines the practical reasons why a Capsule Wardrobe is recommended and does not lay out rules.

I have to use the term ‘Minimalist’ or ‘French Capsule’ wardrobe loosely here. For our purposes, there are no rules except for one. I’m not going to count my sweaters and then deny myself a few faves because somewhere someone said I should only have 2. Not gonna happen. Although, speaking the truth, it seems that the internet is telling me that my wardrobe – the one I have now, IS a minimalist wardrobe. How did this happen?

The only rule I am giving myself for the next 12 months is that whatever I buy needs to be:

– 100% natural fabric (I’ve already done this for more than the past year & I love it)

– Of good quality

– Something that fits the size I actually am

– Versatile

– Well researched & thoughtfully considered (So…no impulse buys)

– An investment. Ie; Something that I can see myself using for the next 5 years.

So, to get to the point, I’m taking on this challenge for the next 12 months. I will be posting regularly about my wardrobe, my progress, my insanity and my purchases. I do hope you will follow the journey with me.

Have any of you tried any of the minimalist wardrobe challenges? If so, please tell us about it in the comment section below!

-Mliae

Requiem For a Sweater

15

My old friend.

How happy I was to pull you from the wardrobe today.

It was my horror to find a hole in the front of you.

We discussed sweater surgery,

but you were beyond repair.

So it was my sad news

to have to throw you in the refuse.

I will miss you my old, brown friend.

The warm embrace of your cashmere,

wrapped around me on a cold winters day.

The comfort of being stretched-out just ‘so’

as to rival the most comfy college Tee.

I will miss having a sweater that matches everything

My wardrobe ‘go-to’,

now a footnote in my style notebook.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replace you,

my favourite cashmere sweater.

A sad day in closet land,

-Mliae

Louis Vuitton RTW Spring 2017 Best Looks

Since we are embarking on Spring, which is always an exciting time of year for those in love with high fashion, I wanted to share this post highlighting some great looks from the Louis Vuitton Runway for the Spring/Summer 2017 season. Enjoy!

Product Review: Ted Baker sunglasses

What is it ‘they’ say? That nice sunglasses are lost in a second and you can never get rid of that emergency cheapo pair you purchased on the beach 8 years ago. In many cases, this saying proves absolutely true. But…knock on wood…This fantastic pair of Ted Baker shades have lasted me two whole summers so far! (Of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably drop them and step on them on the way out today)

These sunglasses have managed to survive daily commutes, moving, travel, being smashed in my clutch and having been dropped quite a few times. And yet, these beauties still sit on the table waiting for me everyday, in one piece.

I am not usually a super bold colour person, so the intricate floral detail on the arms, suit me perfectly. Just enough colour to match everything, and yet I can still maintain my dark shades look.

Feel free to check out your own styles. Everything mentioned is linked.

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae
Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)

My Lust list

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I’m not sure why, but I felt the need to share some of my faves for this season. I try to stick to a simple capsule wardrobe, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t spend boo-koodles of time on the net drooling over fashions I would love to see hanging in my closet.

Here are a few of the items I would buy in a heartbeat if I was able:

cotton-dress

Verdusa Women’s Casual V Neck Side Split Beach Long Maxi Dress Grey L

I’ve really been into super comfy dresses, especially since I have surgery coming up and like to look nice, even though I’ll be hanging in around the house. This, I’m in love with! So simple, comfy, yet will look super sleek with a thick belt.

belt.jpg

Retro Wide Metal Interlock Buckle Womens Elastic Waist Belt Cinch (Black 1)

silk

Parker Women’s Annie Blouse, Argentella, L

A great silk blouse with leather pants or a leather skirt for an edgy look.

leather

Jessica London Women’s Plus Size Leather Pants Black,12

cashmere

Lark & Ro Women’s 100 Percent Cashmere 2 Ply Slouchy Turtleneck Sweater, Light Grey, X-Large

Starting to see a pattern here? I love items that can mix and match easily with each other. It makes it possible to create a variety of looks with minimal effort (and expense).

Now for accessories and home, which I am really digging right now because I want to feel comfy and luxurious, and I want to look like I spent hours on my look, when I only threw on some bangles and earrings 😉

bangle

Kate Spade New York Womens Idiom Bangles Solid Gold Gold One Size

I am loving this bangle right now. It can be worn with basically every kind of outfit to kick it up a notch.

earrings

14k Yellow Gold Hoop Earrings (2″ Diameter)

silk-robe

TexereSilk Women’s Luxury Long Silk Bathrobe (Beautibliss, Mulberry, Large/X-Large) Unique Bath Robes for Her WS0102-MUL-LXL

This Mulberry silk robe is one of my must-haves. Super soft, cozy and WASHABLE 🙂

Thanks for checking out my online window shopping wish-list!

-Mliae

Best Milan Secondhand/Designer Shopping: Bivio!

1

Ladies and gentlemen, if you find yourself in Italy, you should visit this store. I HAD to reblog this post from www.stylejinx.com as I’ve been searching for a high-end consignment store. I was so excited when I saw her post! Thank you, Style jinx, for allowing the reblog 🙂

Health Nut French Macarons (Gluten-free)

I had to share this awesome Macaron recipe. It checks all the boxes: Sweet goodness, delicacy and gluten free for those of you who struggle with gluten.
Just FYI – A French macaron is a meringue based cookie (much like these beautifully colored ones you see all over IG), a macroon is more along the lines of a small sweet cookie, but not with the meringue center.

Fit for Friday! From Work to Weekend; A Transitional Clothing Collab with T.M. Lewin #fitforfriday @TMLewin

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Hello all 🙂 It’s Friday after work and the perfect time for this Fit for Friday feature!

Today, I am super-excited about this post! When the opportunity to create a Men’s/Women’s versatile office wear collaboration with T.M. Lewin UK presented itself, I jumped on it! As many of you know, I am a bit conservative in my fashion choices, preferring classic pieces with a modern twist that can be used for a variety of different circumstances. I do love fashion, and trends. However, I have found that people get more use for their money with a few highly tailored, versatile pieces than with say… a closet full of clothes that can only be designated for certain social situations. (i.e.; Club clothes, funeral wear, ‘meet the parents’ gear, etc.).

I am very excited about T.M. Lewin because they have really made all of my dreams come true in the fabric department. As most of you know, I only purchase products made of 100% natural fibres. And almost ALL, yes you heard me right…basically ALL of their items are 100% cotton, 100% Leather, 100% Merino wool, 100% mixed wool, 100% Egyptian cotton or 100% silk! YES!!! You really have to work to find something that is a mixed fabric. And that is such a happy thing. Also (drumroll please) their products are affordable. Stylish, affordable and natural fibre?! You really can’t get better than that! You can do the happy dance now, I have been too 😉

I have 2 Fit for Friday looks for men, and 2 for women. Due to the fact that many offices are opting for a Casual Friday look, I wanted to make sure to create a versatile look for both Casual Friday offices and Business Formal offices. All of the items in these looks are from T.M. Lewin. Some of the accessories in the women’s looks are from additional sources.

The following is the Men’s more Casual Friday versatile look to help you go from meeting to pub in no time flat, without having to carry a travel bag with you.

I love this casual look for the Friday office. Versatile, comfortable and easy to go straight from work to meet the guys. All you really need to do is shed the jacket and you are all set!

Outfit contents: Burgundy multi-check Royal Oxford slim-fit shirt (100% Egyptian Cotton…oh, yes, love that!), Brown contemporary belt (100% Leather), Milton brown tweed check jacket (100% Wool with lining), Relaxed fit burgundy cords (100% Cotton) and Regent brown Chelsea boots  (Leather with anti-bacterial heel cushion) are all found from T.M. Lewin. Each product name is directly linked to product, so click away!

T.M. Lewin has many specialties, but their 100% Cotton Slim-fit shirts are an area in which they excel. The modern day working man likes to look fashionable as well as respectable. Gone are the days when gentlemen look as though they are traipsing around in their father’s suits.

I am adding two lust-worthy accessories that can really personalize this look:

 This burgundy velvet bowtie from T.M. Lewin is a real attention grabber. We love bowties! Not just for formal wear anymore. They add a trendy, youthful addition to any men’s outfit. You may opt for a tie free day, but if you are going the tie route, I would suggest adding this one  or these Burgundy braces for a ton of flair!

As a woman, I can tell you quite honestly that I enjoy the look of a man who takes care with his appearance and who can make a little go a long way. This outfit is incredibly versatile. It suits for a casual meeting, a day on the go and an evening of dinner and laughter. Enjoy! And leave that change of clothes at home!

For the next Men’s Formal Office Fit to Friday look, we have the following:

Outfit contents: Harman Blue Mohair Slim-fit Suit (100% Wool & Mohair) , Non-Iron (You know you love that) White Oxford Slim Fit Shirt (100% Cotton), Newbury Waistcoat (Merino wool with lining), Dark Blue bow tie (100% silk) , Brown Contemporary belt (100% leather), Regent Brown Chelsea Boots (leather with antibacterial heel cushion)

Fashion spends an inordinate amount of time considering how people dress in varying circumstances and the rule still holds true: The tailored look is ALWAYS a win.

Now, to transition this into a Fit for Friday evening look. Remember that less is more.  Nobody really wants to have to change pants in the office WC or go full-on gymnast trying to swap out, so keep it as minimal as possible. I suggest shedding the jacket, bow tie and waistcoat. You can either keep the shirt (it is no iron) or, I would recommend changing into this super Noland Grey Merino Long-Sleeve Polo (100% Merino Wool). Top it off with the Burgundy Grey Double-Faced Scarf (100% Merino Wool) as seen below:

Easy-peasy and very sharp looking!

Ladies, now it’s our turn…Goodie Goodie!

For the  ladies semi-casual Fit to Friday look I want to tone down the shirt and took it to a short sleeve floral which is light and comfy. For the rest of the look, I keep it office worthy with a nice grey pencil skirt and professional jacket.

Outfit contents: Suzie Yellow Floral Print Short Sleeve Voile Shirt (100% cotton), Dita Grey Sharkskin Jacket (100% wool with lining), Leona Puppytooth Skirt (mixed fibres), Vivienne Pumps (leather, by Tiger of Sweden – shown as an accessory).

The transition in this outfit is rather straightforward. Shed the jacket for evening, and to add a bit of ‘Umph’ to your night out, take down that pony tail, un button the top of the shirt and put on a bib necklace flirty showing of the neckline of your shirt, such as the ones below to add some pizzaz!

Adding just a bit of extra colour or architecture in your accessories is really all a lady needs to make a dramatic difference in her transitional clothing. Remember: If you are wearing a bold statement piece, let it speak for itself. Too many pieces will make the outfit look cluttered and not well thought out. Cotton & Silk Cordon from etsy, Kendra Scott ‘Ginger’ Graduated Oval Stone Necklace from Nordstrom.

For the next Women’s Formal Office Fit to Friday, we have the following:

Outfit contents: Megan Green Debby Spot Shirt (100% cotton and an awesome statement colour!), Alameda Black Weave Jacket (mixed fibres), Charcoal Wide Leg Trousers (Wool/Cashmere blend), Vivienne Pumps (leather, Tiger of Sweden – shown as a basic accessory).

Transitioning this outfit for a nice dinner or drinks is quite simple because the look is already complete. Shed the office jacket and opt instead for a dainty architecture bib necklace (pictured below). In this amazing green colour shirt, you will already be shining. A statement piece will complete the look without being overbearing. If you are feeling adventurous, untuck that shirt and use an obi belt! Obi belts are awesome in that they create an even more flattering figure by accenting the waistline in all the right places and making that hourglass figure we all swoon for. Wider Obi belts are recommended because they cover a multitude of sins if you have a heavy meal ahead of you. 😉

Kenneth Jay Lane Branch Statement Bib Necklace found from Saks Fifth Avenue, Black Sash Leather Obi Belt found from Once Upon a Belt.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is your Fit to Friday transition from paperwork to pub in only a few minutes!

If you would like to see more of T.M. Lewin’s collections, you can find them on the web by clicking here, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. They do offer international shipping at a reasonable rate, as well as free returns in-store or by post which is always great to have.

It has been a pleasure working on the Fit for Friday collaboration and I thank you for joining me.

What did you think about this post: Would you use these transitional pieces?

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

 *All looks are from the T.M. Lewin UK website unless otherwise stated.

I FOUND MY WEDDING DRESS!

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Wooohooo! I found it! I found it!!! You are now looking at the proud owner of a beautiful wedding dress…and just in time, too!

For those of you reading who haven’t been following the wedding saga, I realized last week that ‘OMG! If I don’t pick a dress soon, I’m not going to have one AT ALL!’. My panic was well expressed in this post. I seriously thought that I could have my dress in-hand in 3 months time. My, my…how wrong I was. Apparently, the time frame is 6 months! Hurry! Hurry!

So this is what I did: I went back to the original boutique. All the others I visited were a bit ‘Meh’ for me. High prices for inferior fabrics, or waaayyyy too focused on the princess story. Being in my late 30’s, I really have no need to re-inact a disney movie and look quite preposterous in some of the ballgowns. Bigger is not always better. Not for me anyway.

At this boutique, I had fallen in love with a few gowns and had to leave without trying some of them on due to time constraints. So I went back, and I picked my dress loves and we all went into the fitting room together. There is truly nothing quite like having a wall of  wedding dresses waiting for your opinion. I love it. Champagne helps.

Here are some that I absolutely adore (I wasn’t able to include all of them, as some look like a solid wall of veil – which I’m guessing nobody wants to see).

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I was swooning for this gown. We did have a battle over undergarments. I’m sorry, but I will NOT be wearing a hoop! Let it hang… 🙂

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Feeling a bit ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ but it is age-appropriate.

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Flow-y makes my heart sing 🙂 Don’t mind the mess in the back, that was for sizing purposes.

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Oh…Glamour, detail and gold…how I love thee! A bit cozy around the hips, but just look at it!

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Ah…the romance of lace! I love it, like really love it. But I fear my fiancé will tell me I look like a table cloth. And then I will have to use it against him for the rest of his life.

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Aaaand throw in a bit of Old Hollywood in the mix for good measure 😉

A few things. I know I said I didn’t want strapless. And I tried, I really did! These 2 strapless dresses are the only strapless ones I tried. And the reason being? The bodice is so tight, it’s not going A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E, possibly not even a comfortable sitting position if I don’t do a emergency slim down of 1-2 cm’s.

I did, in fact, have The Moment! I cried. Not crocodile tears, but enough to know that ‘this is my dress’! It’s so hard to explain. I tried on a coordinating veil with each dress I loved. But when I looked in the mirror and saw myself in The Dress with the veil, it was like I knew that this dress would be carrying me down the aisle. I was so lucky to have my mother with me who was helping me by taking photos and I heard, can’t you smile? Why can’t you smile? And I just couldn’t say anything. My eyes welled up with tears while I stared at myself in the mirror and thought about walking down the aisle to the man I love. It was…surreal.

Ironically, the dress I chose (or that chose me) is not something I would normally go for. So I’m really glad I went in with an open mind and looked for dresses outside of my comfort zone. Otherwise, I never would have found this beauty. And I did not want to take the dress off. When the associate asked me if this was the dress I wanted, I said that the tears spoke for themselves and that is a clear sign to me that you need this dress. THIS ONE! She was a real doll, by the way, the sales associate. When I cried, she cried too. And then we all laughed about how overtly emotional we got.

So what do you think? Any favourites?

Which one do you think is The One?

-Mliae

P.S.- The feature photo (hanging dress I’m not in) is a diversion tactic in case fiancé finds himself scrolling through the blog. He’ll think thats the one and will be so surprised when the big day comes! 😉

*Feature photo by Sharla Stenersen Photography

Final Wedding Dress Shopping Tomorrow!

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I’m late! I’ve been just taking my time with everything, thinking that I could pick out a dress and have it in and ready to wear in 3 months time. How wrong I was! I had no idea how long these dresses take to make, and fit, and alter, and fit…and hope its right on the BIG DAY!

I have gone to several different appointments at several different boutiques, but haven’t had that dress moment. You know the one, it involves tears and ‘Oh my God! I’m getting Married!!’ I spent a ton of time online too, and actually had a great dress in mind. One that my fiancé inadvertently picked out. I actually called about it, but the closest one was several countries away and I just cannot manage that if it doesn’t fit perfectly straight from the box.

Quite honestly, the only place I found a few promising items was at the first dress shop, which I shared a favourite with you here. I saw some others that I would like to try. So, I made an appointment at the original boutique and there a dress will be chosen. It will happen. I’ll let you know how it goes. Tomorrow is the day!

I’m really hoping I can find something will sleeves, or straps. Thats the only thing I’m really stuck on. I don’t want to be walking around all day tugging at the top of my dress. Otherwise, I’m open to everything. Who knows? Might find that moment in something I wouldn’t give a second glance otherwise.

I’ll post about it, but only when I can block my fiancés access to the blog temporarily. Anybody know how to do this?

Wish me luck!

-Mliae

*Photo via Übercreative

Sustainable Fashion Feature: Shift to Nature

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Greetings all!

As many of you know already, I have been on the hunt for friendly, fashionable, sustainable, fashion houses with great customer service which utilize sustainable business practices. And I found a great eco-fashion start-up that goes by the name of Shift to Nature, in Australia. They are awesome! Truly, super-cool and incredibly friendly and cooperative people! So much so, and I have to tell you this because it just never happens, that I was put in contact with the owner and personality of Shift to Nature and she is the one who made sure that every single one of my questions were answered, that I had all the facts, and went WAY above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that we have everything we need to make our own evaluations of the company! (and she returned all 8 million of my emails) This fact, in and of itself, really made me acquire a fashion crush on this company. I wish that more companies were able to understand the true value of incredible customer relations. As this can either make or break a sale, or a lifelong of sales, regardless of how pretty the item on the hanger is.

How I came to contact Shift to Nature

I have spent countless hours researching fashion houses. I’ve even spent loads of time searching brand names woven within massive e-commerce sites, in the search for a handful of businesses that offer fashionable sustainable clothing that I feel confident are the crème de la crème. However, even though sustainable and eco-clothing seems to be gaining in popularity, there are some boxes that need to be ticked for me to contact a company in the first place:

  • A majority of the products must be natural fabrics (I say majority because some of the businesses are doing good things by upcycling non-natural fabrics to avoid creating waste)
  • Fashionable items. I want to feel beautiful in my clothes at work, on a date and at home. I know you do too.
  • Fair trade (it doesn’t have to be registered fair trade. Using local artisans and product or helping those in need by paying fair wages IS Fair Trade…with or without the label.)
  • Sustainable business practices
  • Transparency in business practices
  • A non-market based orientation for their products. (Unfortunately, so many eco-fashion houses are mis-using the identity as more of a marketing strategy and less of a genuine concern)
  • Good customer service
  • Reasonable international shipping. (You know this is a MUST for me. I’m neurotic about shipping…not sure why.)

Shift to Nature has far exceeded my wish list.

To show you some of the 100% natural fabric women’s items I fell in lust with, I’ve created a virtual capsule wardrobe for ladies from some of Shift to Nature’s product line! Even the sunglasses are bamboo!

  1. Bamboo Wide Yoga Pants,  2. Bamboo Long Sleeve Crew Neck Shirt,  3. Merino Wool Eco Snood, 4. Aurora Black Scarf, 5. Tortoise Ethical Eyewear

1A. Black Stripe Bra and Underpants, 2A.  Long Sleeved Organic Cotton Stretch Dress in Charcoal Grey 3A. Bamboo Wrap  4A. Celestial Nightie, 5A. Bamboo House Dress

A bit about Shift to Nature

Shift to Nature does work with designers, some are smaller than others, which creates a great opportunity for new designer discovery as well as for the consumer to find an item they go ga-ga over without having to pay the usually astronomical designer price. (Hello Virtual Capsule Wardrobe…you will be MINE!)  New items from different designers are added monthly, as well as keeping with some of the continuous favourites. They do re-order stocks of the best-selling items, so if there is something you love that currently isn’t in stock, ask about it and wait whilst daydreaming. It will be back!
Product pricing is affordable compared to many of the eco-fashion stores, but it is not cheap. It is quite clear that they go to great lengths to provide fair pricing and to take into account the customers relative sticker shock when making the move to eco-clothing. They also offer very reasonable international shipping (Yay! Happy me 🙂 🙂 )

I’m doing something a bit different in this feature. I hope it works out. While I was looking over some of the answers to my questions I received, I wasn’t exactly sure how to put it into narrative. You see, my problem was this: The answers just ooze personality. If I were to reformat that into my words it would….lose something. I think that the personality is so important to a brand, especially when it is the owner speaking and you can hear the passion and excitement in your mind while reading. I don’t want to take that away because it is so important! So for the first time ever, I am leaving it in Question (me)/Answer (Shift to Nature) format.

Q – Does Shift to Nature work with any designers?

A – Shift to Nature is a really large collaboration with designers and brands for their own products as well as new in-house Shift Collaboration such as Faite, Noa Lane Nail Polish and Lily & Leo organic cotton kids range coming soon! Designers with their own brands are featured such as Alas the label with Sleepwear, Eleven44 hot yoga wear and more. All of the designers work on a small scale and have chosen to make the shift to eco fabrics. While this has been in no way limiting their designs, as each designer brings the wearability and softness of eco fabrics into a contemporary colour, lines, prints and fits. Our “in-house” designers are actually wonderful collaborations with notable freelancer designers around the world. Aude in France, Tess in Perth, Project Change collaboration in Cambodia, eco designers in Sydney. For me this promotes alternate economies for people. Lovely and creative women, often mothers can work at home, managing their own time and also having fun with the process. It’s one of my favourite parts of the Shift to nature process – there is now a community of very talented creatives around it – including Bloggers 😉

Q – I see that you also include Lenzig Tencel, any thoughts as to eventually incorporating Cupro into your catalogue?

A – Yes I would love to include Cupro which is a regenerated cellulose fiber derived from cotton linter (the ultrafine, silky fibers that stick to the seeds of the cotton plant after it’s been ginned) creating a silk like cotton fabric. However as this is a new fabric it is still very expensive to make it into reasonably priced eco garments. I noticed that high end designers such as Donna Karen are using it. This raises the question of cost in the fashion industry – hopefully as the new eco fabrics are developed and become widely available a drop in their prices can make them available to smaller designers who can find the balance between eco and acceptable purchase prices for the consumer. There is a tension here. While customers move toward ethical and eco purchases there is difficulty often to justify the higher prices. The higher prices are ethical and related to the real transparent cost of eco fabrics, fair wages and ethical business. However due to fast fashion companies producing incredibly cheap and plastic clothes, consumers are now used to purchasing leggings for $5. This makes the shift to eco very difficult, unfortunately. For designers and makers we are limited to reasonably priced organic cotton, bamboo, lenzig tencel and other such more available fabrics to keep the costs reasonable.

Q – Approximately how many farmers, artisans, etc can you say that your Fair Trade practices help worldwide?
A – Goodness, that is very difficult to say. It takes a lot of minds, hands and hearts to make quality products. Possibly 100’s of families are helped through the activities of Shift to Nature designers and makers. This is probably unique as Shift is a collective with people making lovely items across the world – from Estonia, Bali, Germany, India, Cambodia, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Peru – rather than having a limited place of making. As we search for newly unique items everyday we find some wonderful items – and manage it all online, so as carbon neutral as possible in terms of business operation. And we are not limited to English – we love to stretch ourselves and make connections really finding the most unique products.

Q – Do your sustainable practices extend to logistics as well?

A – Yes so for items that come to us as stock, we use sea freight if international. For packaging and posting to our customers we use Australia Post who have good quality assurance and standards. We also believe in public shared economy – so it is important to utilise the international postal systems in each country – keeping them alive and serving all. Based in Adelaide Australia, we have recycle policies of our local council. We remove as much plastic wrapping as we can and then hand wrap the items with recycled tissue paper. We then recycle or reuse as much as we possibly can.

Q – Is there transparency in Shift to Nature’s business practices?

A – Yes there is as much as possible. We will be applying for B-Corp status such that, this certification will require reports. However we are a startup and so I am partly still self-funding the business. We do not make a profit because all of the funds go back toward research and development of new designs and eco products. We are hoping that this will carry us into the future. Our business aims is to create a self-sustainable business – meaning that it can survive as a business stand alone, without additional investment, and that its income is reinvested back into itself to create better products. We spend much much more on R&D than on marketing, for example.

Q – Any new product lines we can look forward to?

A – 🙂 Big smile – yes! Without giving everything away, we think eco and fair products should start with kids. Kids have a big sense of fairness and care and childhood is where a sense of wonder and concern for the planet is sometimes at its strongest. They also want fun and comfortable clothes. Lily & Leo is just around the corner – but no peaking!

Here are some of the items for Home, Kids and Men available:

1B. Luxury Organic Cotton Sheets  2B. Bells Beach Turkish Style Cotton Towels 3B. Men’s Tailored Hemp Linen Shorts 4B. Dino Quilt Cover Set

And this is where it gets even better! 😀

Shift to Nature has very generously offered us a 15% off discount promo code (M15) AND is giving away a bottle of Noa Lane vegan nail polish* with purchase (remember promo code: M15)! *While supplies last, colours may vary.

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A bit about Noa Lane:

Q – I would love to share more about the Noa Lane Vegan Nail polish that you have so generously offered as a bonus to our readers! What makes it vegan?
A – This is so exciting! People often say: ‘but nail polish has no animal products’ but it actually does. Regular nail polish does, in fact, contain fish Scales (usually from Herring) that creates the Sparkle. The iridescent qualities of the scales make them “ideal” for grinding up into glitter. Noa Lane Nail Lacquer does not contain any Fish Scales. The sparkle comes from mineral Micas! Naturally forming mica flakes are from Muscovite mineral rocks which are refined and for safe cosmetic use, the result combined with colour gives the beautiful Opalescent finish. When used in nail polish suspension base the Mica powders distribute freely and evenly leaving a uniform colour saturation. The shine and shimmer of the mica compliments glitter polishes and unlike powder pigments micas do not clump or cause streaking in nail polish. Noa Lane Nail Lacquer also Does Not contain these animal by-products commonly found in regular nail polish: stearic acid, glycerol and cochineal, or crushed bugs. Items from the Noa Lane Mineral Cosmetics range are Vegan and Not Tested on Animals. They are free of Five particularly nasty chemicals including formaldehyde which has been linked to cancer by national research bodies. Noa Lane Mineral Cosmetics is made in Australia with ingredients comply with International standards.

It has truly been a pleasure to work in conjunction with Shift to Nature in order to write this feature on sustainable fashion! They have gained a lifelong customer here and I know that your experience, should you so choose to check out the company, will be as awesome as mine has been!

Thank you so much for reading! And please remember, if you find yourself on the Shift to Nature website  use promo code: M15 at checkout for a 15% discount and a complimentary bottle of Noa Lane vegan nail polish! (*While supplies last, nail colours may vary).

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-Mliae

Cyber Monday Sales: Some of my Faves

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Hello 🙂

Today is Cyber Monday, of course, and its everywhere! Since I have an addiction to online ‘window shopping’, I thought I would share with you some of my fave gift ideas (also including the deeply discounted, of course!) from the Cyber Monday sale on amazon.

Wooden watches 🙂 These are just so cool! (org price: $79.99, Cyber Monday deal: $34)

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Viable Harvest – Men’s Wood Watch – Wooden Bamboo Dial – Sandalwood Bezel – Genuine Leather – Gift box

Pressure Steam Cleaner: We need this! (orig price: $59.99, Cyber Monday deal: $29.99)

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BLACK FRIDAY & CYBER MONDAY SALE Upgraded Spill-Proof Handheld Multi-PURPOSE Pressurized Steam Cleaner for stain removal, curtains, crevasses with 9 FREE Accessories

The man set for the lover of Movember – my guy might be getting this…if he’s nice 😉 (orig price: $39, Cyber Monday deal: $14.97)

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Beard Comb -Fine & Coarse Tooth – Handmade Genuine Sandalwood Brush for Hair – Smells Amazing – Anti-Static – For Stylish Beard & Mustache Grooming- Best Premium Giftbox Set & BONUS a Digital Booklet

Paintbrush set (orig price: $99.99, Cyber Monday deal: $36.97)

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CYBER MONDAY DEAL 63% OFF! Santa Fe Art Supply Best Quality Artist Paintbrush Set. Acrylic Oil Watercolor & Face Paint. 15 (+1) Professional Paint Brushes In Travel Case.

Eco-friendly cotton canvas Hynes Eagle Multi-pockets Rucksack (orig price: $130, Cyber Monday deal: $34.99)

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Hynes Eagle Multi Pockets Canvas Backpack School Travel Rucksack 25 Liter (Navy Blue)

Labyrinth Brain Game (Orig price: $33.98, Cyber Monday deal: $8.99)

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Labyrinth Cyber Monday Sale / Deals 2016 – SouvNear Brain Teaser Hand and Eye Coordination Brain Game Gifts under 10 Dollars – Wooden Labyrinth Board Game Ball in Maze Puzzle Handcrafted in India

I hope you enjoyed this weeks super sale gift guide. I think these are cool and I hope you do too!

I would love to know: When you do your shopping online, what are some of your favorite sites to frequent? I am constantly on the lookout 🙂

-Mliae

It’s here!

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I had to share this with you 🙂 I purchased this hand-woven rug during a trip to Morocco. It isn’t huge, because they were so expensive…more than I had on me, for sure! But the handicraft is beautiful, and since I limit myself to ONE purchase in each country, per trip (I’m not a souvenir ladened suitcase traveler…much to my friends dismay.) I was able to justify this little luxury to myself without too  much work.

It took a while to get everything in order and to have it shipped. Then have it shipped again. But now, it’s home! I hope you like it too…the photo colored a bit weird, but rest assured, its gold and blue tones are just beautiful 🙂

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What about you? What are some of your favourite travel souvenirs?

-Mliae

Black Friday Deals on Amazon

Hi there, and thanks for stopping by!

I’ll be doing 2 online gift idea posts this week: Today and Monday. Of course, the two biggest sale days of the year, so I thought I would share some great gift ideas that I’m lusting over – that are currently on drastic mark-down for Black Friday!

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Awesome 100% goat leather carry bag – marked down from $249 to $59, a savings of $190! (Santa, if you’re reading, I want this!)

Rustic Town Genuine Leather Laptop Bag Leather Messenger bag 15″ gift him her

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This B & D screwdriver with screw holder is marked down from the original $76.88 to $26.99

BLACK+DECKER LI4000 4-Volt Lithium-Ion SmartSelect Screwdriver with Magnetic Screw Holder

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This portable USB charger supposedly holds enough to charge an iPhone 6 or 7 at least 5 times. Yes 🙂 Original price: $109.99, Black Friday deal: $23.99 – for a savings of $86

Uni-Yeap UNI100 11000mAh External Battery Charger Portable Power Bank and Charger in Luxury Style and Polishing Slim Shell with LCD for iPhone7 7Plus 6s 6 Plus, iPad, Samsung Galaxy and More (grey)

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For that special blogger whose computer is melting into oblivion – This Acer laptop is marked down from $299, now $167 😉

2016 NEW Edition Acer Aspire One 11 Cloudbook 11.6-inch Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB EMMC, 1-year Office 365 Personal, 2 years 100GB OneDrive Storage, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10

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14K hoop earrings, original price: $170,  Black Friday price: $45.89 (This item also offers int’l ship)

14k Yellow Gold Square Tube Hoop Earrings

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And these…because they’re pretty 🙂 Also marked down from $20 to $5.99

Decorative Cushion Cover Pillow Cases standard size, Set of 2, 18 x18, Black Friday Sale 2016

There are literally thousands of deals today on amazon alone, not to mention every webstore in existence. These are just some of the items that I thought were the best gift ideas with the best deals and wanted to share them with you.

Enjoy your Black Friday shopping wherever you do it, and stay safe! The evening news is always full of insanity on Black Friday. This is why I prefer to shop online. Seriously. A good sale is not worth being assaulted over!

Happy Friday 🙂

-Mliae

Does my choice to wear natural fabrics, really dictate my fashion options?

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…Sometimes, it really seems that way.

I am frustrated. I spent a large portion of my day doing some Christmas shopping online. Take, Zalando, for example. A website that is full of designer labels, clothing and accessories for the entire family. I scrolled and scrolled through for hours today. Literally, hours. Every time I found something that was stylish and somewhat affordable, it was a poly or acrylic blend. It is so frustrating.

Luckily, those I’m shopping for aren’t as picky about fabrics as I am. Though I would love to be able to get them some nice, soft, pretty items made from natural fabrics. I am starting to presume that this is a luxury wishlist, as it is just so difficult to find anything other than Tee shirts, the occasional college shirt or long sleeve Tee or cotton blend sweaters. I found 1…yes, ONE full cotton dress on the entire site. What is the deal?! I mean, I just don’t understand it. I would LOVE to be able to buy a silk maxi-dress for less than 1,000 ($/€) or wool pants for less than 500. Why is it, the fabrics that are most sustainable and take the least amount of processing, are also used the least and cost the most? Does anyone understand the logic in this?

How did we get here? How do we get the fashion industry’s attention to let them know that we don’t need a closet full of artificial, inexpensively made clothes that will be out of style in 6 months…that we need quality craftsmanship, natural fabrics and beautiful classic, versatile designs that will last years?! THIS I am willing to pay good money for, even save if I have to. Of course! What woman wouldn’t invest in her appearance if she knew she looked fabulous and that she could get her money’s worth out of her garment?!

I am amazed that I am able to find more natural fabrics and nice designs on amazon, than I am on Zalando. I never thought it would be this challenging to go ‘rogue’ when I made a deal with myself that I would only buy natural or sustainable clothing, at least for the year, to start.

Anybody else having this experience?

-Mliae

Feeling Fashionable: my #ootd

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Today, I feel pretty good about my #ootd so I felt like sharing with you. The great thing about autumn is that one can wear her suede over the knee boots and a nice cashmere sweater to dress up her favorite skinny jeans and look and feel great!

Sorry, I hate taking selfies and they always come out just awful looking, so I found the products themselves to show you.

So here’s what I’m rocking today :

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Miuk Women’s Basic Slim Turtle-neck Long Sleeve 100% Cashmere Pullover Sweater

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Levi’s Women’s Revel Demi Curve Skinny Jeans, Blue (Hight Storm 0032), 29W x 32L

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Sam Edelman Women’s Bernadette Boot, Grey Frost, 8.5 M US

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Bohemia Chandelier Fringe Women Long Pierced Dangle Multi-Chain Linear Drop Chain Tassel Earring Golden

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Dazzle Flash Gold Tassle Necklace Chic Tassel Necklace Halo Long Tassel,NAG159

My necklace & earrings are basically identical to these, except it’s an antique set from my grandmother 🙂 I love them!

…And now, I’m off to do some wedding dress shopping!

-Mliae

 

*Feature image credit: Oh Fiddle Dee Dee Blog

A Word About Sustainable Fashion

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Good day, everyone 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Today I’d like to discuss a topic which is becoming more and more of a priority for not only myself, but also for many fashion forward men and women. The words of the day are ‘sustainable’, ‘eco’, ‘fair trade’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural fibers’. The reason I would like to talk with you about it is because I am seriously considering launching yet another experiment here on lifexperiment blog.

As most of you already well know, I am a huge proponent of natural fabrics. There are several reasons for this, some are as follows:

  • Studies have shown that linen is the most hygienic fabric for sheets, and that bamboo is naturally antibacterial
  • Chemical processing. Fabrics like polyester, rayon and acrylic are treated with various acids and chemical processes. What’s the use in leading a healthy lifestyle if you are absorbing these chemicals through your skin? Of course, you aren’t going to get a ton of it, but some of these have been said to cause cancer and I’m thinking that 5 minutes of saved ironing, isn’t worth it.
  • It’s basically plastic. I don’t eat plastic and I don’t want to wear plastic. However, I do eat flax, so linen is ok 😉
  • Money. If I am going to invest in a gorgeous piece of clothing, I want to feel gorgeous in it! Also, if I can buy a poly dress for €5, why would I pay €300 for the same thing? This is a major bone of contention with me.
  • Natural fibers feel better. Ever notice how you always get hot in that poly blend shirt, but never in organic cotton or silk? It’s back to the plastic thing. Natural fibers breathe better. Personally, I’m in love with the way silks, linens, cotton (especially organic, for some reason), cashmere, wools and leather feel on my skin.

In searching for these beloved fabrics of mine, I have made some interesting discoveries. There are actually tons of companies that now specialize in sustainable, natural or eco-friendly clothing. And it’s not like it used to be! Remember 10 -12 years ago when basically all the sustainable clothing was only in stores that also carried candles and incense? When the first thing that came into your mind at the sound of ‘organic cotton’ was bicycle Tee’s and cargo pants? Totally not the case anymore…much to my delight! 🙂 Some of the online shops I found actually had some really fabulous business wear, daily wear and I even saw a few wedding dresses! Now here’s the rub: Although most places are very upfront about which branch of eco, sustainable, organic they are on – sometimes, you just have to find what you like, click and hope the fabrics are what you’re looking for. Here are some of the differences I’ve noticed:

  • Fair Trade: This usually refers to locally or regionally sources fibre, and it also refers to the labor. Fair Trade labor is always better because you don’t have to worry about sweatshops, under payment or child labor. Fair Trade is awesome 🙂
  • Sustainable: This can represent a multitude. But the main meaning behind it is that either the fabrics, production methods or business are done in such a way to drastically reduce waste, pollution and over-use of resources. For example: I have found several companies which use recycled bottles, recycled polyester or recycled cotton and cashmere to make their clothing items. Some of them are really cool too 🙂 This drastically reduces waste as the fabric contents are recycled, so no new production there (apart from the recycling process, of course). Also, another example, is companies who do not make the item until it is ordered, in order to reduce the waste of over-production. Sustainable is good 🙂
  • Eco: Eco is kind of ‘all-encompassing’. It can mean using recycled material, fair trade, organics, or not using the harsh chemical component to some of their textiles. Eco is good, but can be confusing.
  • Organic: No pesticides used on the crops (including silk, because the silk worms can eat natural – non chemical filled – whatever silk worms eat. Leaves?) which go into your natural fabrics. If it’s organic, it’s natural. This is great, and might explain why organic cotton feels so much fluffier than regular cotton. (I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure out why that is…)
  • Natural fibers: Yeah, Ba-by – Now you have my full attention! Linen, silk, cotton, hemp, soy, mohair, rabbit hair (I actually found a place that combs and shears their own rabbits to make rabbit hair products – with no harm to the bunnies!), bamboo, leather, wool, cashmere. Love this. When I find a place with great natural fiber clothing – as a general product line, not a diamond floating in a sea of acrylic sweaters – I will be a customer for life.

What I’m proposing is this: Since I’m already on a constant search for natural fiber, eco friendly and sustainable clothing anyway on my own time, what if I just share the experience with you? Let you know when I find a company I like and what their specialization’s are, or share when I find an outfit or two that I totally fall in love with. Or rant when I get totally feed-up and frustrated with the search. What do you think?

Since it is our time that I am taking, I would really like to hear your thoughts and feedback. Would you be interested in continuing the search with me for highly fashionable, natural fiber, eco-friendly and sustainable clothing?

Thanks for reading and taking part! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

-Mliae

Fashion Fix: Rachel Zoe

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I must admit that I initially thought that some of Rachel Zoe’s line was a little – eccentric – when it first hit the stores. Sequined knit winter hats, gloves and the like didn’t exactly seem like something I could use in -30 temps. I wasn’t exactly sure who this new celebrity stylist was that seemed to be taking the world by storm, and our T.V.’s as well.

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Rachel Zoe, designer & celebrity stylist

Then one day it happened… I was in the States and happened to find myself in Saks Fifth Ave department store. They were having an incredible sale (which is why I was in there to begin with) and I was perusing the racks to see what caught my eye. There it was, a lamb leather and woven linen mini skirt. Gorgeous, and just my size! Now, I must explain, I have a deep dislike for man made fabrics. I much prefer naturals, silks, linens, leathers, cottons, hemps, wool and the like because it just feels so much better on my skin and because man made fabrics, although extremely easy to care for, make me hot and feel itchy and uncomfortable. So you can imagine my joy when I realized this skirt was my favourite fabrics, pretty and a perfect fit! Also, the % off sale cinched the deal! So, I bought it, of course! (pictured)

Now, I’m a reformed Zoe doubter. Not only do I accept her line, but I search out her items. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the perfect thing because price and material… Her line runs an average of $200 – $900 per item. (Not including accessories, thank God!). So people have to really be sure that what they get is what they want because they’ll be wearing for the foreseeable future.

Here are some of the looks from Rachel Zoe’s 2016 ready to wear as seen in Vogue.

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Sometimes you can snag a really exciting deal, so I’ve taken the liberty, after searching a few reliable places to leave the links to some really affordable Rachel Zoe items that are on my lust list below:
Rachel Zoe Women’s Helen Dress, Black, 4

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Rachel Zoe Women’s Viv Dress Sandal, Gold, 8.5 M US

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Rachel Zoe Women’s Baker Funnel Neck Poncho, Black with Ivory, M/L

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What do you think? Love it or hate it? Thanks for reading and I wish you a very fashionable day!

-Mliae

All work and no play makes Mliae a dull girl…

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Sometimes, after a super long day, a girl just needs to unwind.

I found myself sitting alone, on the upper restaurant deck of the commuter train. The late evening sunset was gorgeous, and I could finally sink back into my leather seat and take a long deep breathe.

The day had consisted of meetings, marketing plans and a bums rush to the finish line. Maybe a teensy stop off for a fashion fix.

As I sat, I reflected. Then i just let the day slide off me and enjoyed the view.

Ok, this girl needs champagne. Stat. I clacked my way down to the bar and requested a glass and a treat. So rainbow marshmallows they supplied! An unlikely pair, I’ll give you that. But it went perfectly as hands-down, the best comfort food you’re going to get on a train. Perfect.

Now, time to kick back and relax.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

A word about centerpieces

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Although we still haven’t fully decided if the reception will be outdoors or indoors, we still need to look at how to make our reception not look like a luncheon meeting, but a wedding.

Looking through all the ideas for glamming up a wedding reception, I’ve come to realize that its absolutely ridiculous what people are spending on these affairs! Who says we all have to have dozens of flower arrangements on the tables, garlands, candles, signs, table runners – all adding up to many hundreds even on the cheapest end?! I’ve now perused thousands of DIY ideas, but still, just cost of the items will end up being as much as the food.

I got stuck on Amazon looking at centerpieces, and take this for example. 20 crystal candelabras for the mere cost of $2,500.
SET OF 20 WEDDING CANDELABRAS CANDELABRA CENTERPIECE CENTERPIECES – GREAT FOR SPECIAL EVENTS! – SET OF 20

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Ok, I must admit – wedding fever is so bad that these are tempting…
I really don’t understand. I mean, its gorgeous, of course! How could not be when you’ve shelled out thousands for fresh blooms and crystals. But WHY is this considered such a necessity? Why do I feel like I have to keep up with this, in order not to be viewed as a pauper who can’t properly decorate her venue? WHY must I spend hours putting together something the day before my wedding (or day of) to lay out on tables, which inevitably, someone will have something to say about anyway.

I mean, honestly, even though it isn’t my usual formal glittering self, something like this is more my style of something fun, frugal and useful:
Floral Unique Kit with 50 Lollies

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Is it OK to have some fun with this stuff? Make an edible arrangement? I have been searching high and low for something beautiful and fun which won’t leave our tables looking barren and might possibly leave our bank accounts in tact.

What do you think, can I break tradition and do something fun and weird plus maybe some affordable blooms instead of these grand monstrosities that will throw me into bankruptcy? Any ideas are more than welcome!

-Mliae

Product Review: Lip Ink @Lipink #lipink

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Ladies, may I have your attention!! I have stumbled upon the solution to our lipstick woes! You are going to love this stuff! I can speak for all of us, when I say that I am sick of carrying around 8 kilos of make-up in my bag and reapplying/freshening up in public areas all day, every day.

As most of you already know, I am a self-funded site. I purchase all my own cosmetics, clothes, treatments, etc. that I am personally interested in using and then, of course, I use myself as a guinea pig (It IS after all – Life Experiment!) and pass on my personal findings to you. As consumers, we need a reliable network of people who will tell us the truth as they see it, regarding these products. Now with some of them, you must keep in mind that I am in my 30’s, so what might be suitable for a 20-something with a natural glow, doesn’t cut it for this girl. I need high-end, plumping, moisturizing, long lasting, and occasionally – spackle.  I have been on the hunt for the lipstick that would create the ‘ perfect pout’. Now that I’m engaged, I’m also searching for the perfect wedding lipstick.

I heard about Lip Ink about a year or so ago, through friends of mine living in L.A. This wax-free, semi permanent lip stick that is super long lasting and Smudge-free. I thought to myself: ‘Too good to be true? Yes. Absolutely. It must feel like house paint if it lives up to these standards. Must try….’ And so, for many months now I have been actively hunting lip ink products that I can 1) afford (I’m happy because it doesn’t actually cost as much as I thought) and 2) Would actually ship internationally! – By the way, I was having a really difficult time with the shipping and whoever it is that is running Lip Ink’s Instagram page, was absolutely AWESOME! They got me set up with their amazon uk page, and also the official site soon began offering really affordable international shipping as well if I wanted more than the trial package. Whoever you are, THANK YOU!

OK, so I go online. And I browse (and drool) for the ideal color kit that I think I want to use on my wedding day. I mean, this HAS to be it…right? How dreamy would it be to not have to worry about leaving lipstick all over my new hubby’s face, collar, or any of my other guests for that matter! And to look photo ready after the nuptials?! Oh yea, on it! I’m thinking since its a special day and I want to look super hot, that maybe red might be the way to go. OK, there’s like 10 different shades of red and you can play mix and match with the other colors to kind of create your own ideal shade. Hmmmmmm…..

So, I finally decide on Lava Red. There’s a process to this whole thing though, so you really should get the whole trial kit. The kit includes 2 ml lip color (will last a long time because such a tiny amount is necessary), 1 OFF towelette (lasts multiple uses if you work it right (i.e.; use a small area, cut it off, refold & replace in pouch)  and 1 pouch of shine moisturizer (again, lasts multiple uses because only a teensy tiny amount is required). I added the kit to my cart, paid and waited….

I was so excited when my package got here! I tore it open, read the instructions & used it immediately!

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Here’s the process:

  • Use the off towelette to really rub your lips with – make sure it exfoliates and gets any residue off.
  • Quickly splash your lips with water and pat completely dry.
  • Put a teensy tiny amount (seriously, I learned my lesson, the color stays on better if you only use a teeeeeeeny bit) of the shine moisturizer on as a base. Massage it in until it is completely absorbed!
  • Shake the color well before using. Make sure to wipe the wand, as a little goes a long way. Apply, going in one direction only, on lips. Apply slowly and don’t blot! It tingles a bit but only for like, a millisecond. Totally worth it. Let dry with lips parted for 10-20 seconds. Its recommended you do this 2-3 times to get an even, heady colour.
  • Again, take a tiny bit of the shine moisturizer to keep your lips shining and moisturized.

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This is me, after applying.

  • When you’re done for the day, use the off towelette to remove the lip colour.

Now for the fun part: I wanted to take this stuff for a serious test run. See what it could manage. I applied the color at 16:00 (4 p.m.). Here’s how I put it to the test:

  • Ran my fingers over the color after applying, nothing came off on my fingers
  • Nacho nite! After dogging down on some serious snacks that isn’t the most pristine food to eat, still sporting the same pout.
  • Wiping my mouth with a white napkin, which is still in pristine condition. Super 😉
  • Rubbing my lips together constantly (My own bad habit). The colour remained, but this is where I learned that you really need to exfoliate and not over moisturize in the beginning of the application process.
  • Kissing session with the guy 😉 – I was thrilled to see that he didn’t walk away looking like a crazed drag queen. My lipstick was on me, not him! YYYYEEEESSSSSS!!!
  • The overnight test. Usually I am absolutely repulsed by the thought of going to bed with any makeup on. But again, I was doing research! Guess what? I woke up the next morning, and although not looking as perfectly pouted as this picture, my lips were still stained the same colour. I kid you not. I threw on some lipgloss and walked out of the house. Also, my white based pillow covers didn’t have a smudge on them. 😀

So there you have it; Tried and tested. This girl knows exactly what brand she’s using for her wedding day, and this will be in my make up bag from now on!

I was going to post this this weekend, but I wanted to play with the kit some more. I did find that if you exfoliate well at the beginning, and use the smallest amount of the moisturizer possible before applying the colour, it lasts better and prettier.

Lip ink carries an array of semi permanent cosmetics, and as well as this works, you can bet I’ll be trying some of their other products.

If you would like to purchase your own Lip Ink trial kit, you can find this specific colour that I’m reviewing by clicking the below image. You can also browse tons of other awesome colours by the company as well!

This is the Lava Red trial kit that I have reviewed from Lip Ink’s Amazon UK site:
LIP INK Smearproof Waterproof Natural Lipstain Lip Color Trial Kit, Lava Red

I will be trying this kit in Rust colour next:

What do you think, would you try this?

-Mliae

Wedding Dress Shopping!

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This is me. Trying on the first wedding dress that I really liked. It’s still in the running 😉

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It was a quite surreal experience, I must admit. I never really pictured myself as a BRIDE. I’m not the woman who has dreamed and planned my dream wedding since I was a little girl. Nor am I the ‘princess’ type. I’m more of an understated, classic, simple – type.

Now, as anybody who’s ever planned a wedding, ever, knows: Advice will come out of the woodwork! I’ve heard about all the dresses that I MUST try, dresses I must avoid, dresses that I will regret when I look at my pictures, and dresses that don’t logically equate to the cost/quality equation. And you know what I said? No way! I’ll go insane if I try to take all this advice to heart! So, I made an executive decision to try on at least one dress in every category – keep an open mind – I never know what might look Ah-maz-ing on me! So thats exactly what Im doing. And surprisingly, this eye that is normally drawn to simple, sleek, old hollywood glamour silhouettes, is seeing that other forms can actually be more flattering. For example, the above picture.

BTW- Thanks Chape for helping me get my body back into ‘dress shape’!

On this shopping trip, I didn’t find my dress-love…yet. But I’ll be keeping at it and posting as I go!

What do you think?

-Mliae

Product Review: Yves Saint Laurent Forever Youth Liberator -Eyes

I am finding myself to be rather partial to this product. Granted, it is a bit of an investment, but as a lady in her late 30’s, I can easily tell you that an investment into skincare is a solid investment indeed!

Similar to the Clarins eye cream that I loved, the difference seems to be subtle…until you stop using it. After a 3 days forced break from this eye cream, I looked in the mirror and realized that OK, this is actually making a HUGE difference!

Although I’ve had a problem with dark circles under my eye area this year, Forever eye cream by YSL has actually made a difference. The lines and darkness are reduced, but not eliminated. I have to say though, that I would much rather look in the mirror and see the slightly tired eyes of a late 20 something, as opposed to the dark exhausted eyes of a 50 year old staring back at me. This made that difference, so I recommend it!

Runs at $100 and can be purchased in many upscale department stores or online by clicking here.

What are some of your to-swear-by eye products?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Some of my favourite looks from the 2016 runways

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Summer is upon us! With summer, comes a whole new look, attitude and of course…high fashion! And don’t we all love a sneak peak at what’s available to us…whether or not we actually need that ballgown? Of course we do!

For me, this year on the runways has really been all about the dress. After the cold season is behind us and I’ve had to wear pants for the better part of 6 months,  want to show some leg! Plus, in my opinion, you have to have a certain kind of tall lanky figure to really work pants (in the runway sense). Dresses, well, they’re pretty and add a bit of elegance and put-togetherness to any look for day or night.

Here are a few of my fashion cravings from the 2016 runways:

Filippa-K-Fall-Winter-2015-2016-1

This first look is from Filippa K’s winter 2016 collection. If you live in a climate where you must dress for both summer and fall in the same day, this look is perfect! I’m all about leather skirts (and yes, mine is hanging in my closet). They are perfect with a black or brown flimsy silky top for day with either a navy over sweater or black boyfriend cashmere in the evenings.

Dior-Fall-2016-Runway

This Dior Fall 2016 number is to-die-for! When I hit my goal weight, this is on my reward list 😉

lovechild-1979-2016-spring-summer-womens-runway-copenhagen-fashion-week-jumpsuit-coatdress-pussybow-cherries-denim-jeans-observer-04x

These Lovechild 1979 looks are spot-on for a foray in the sun or Champagne and hors d’oeuvres with the girls whilst in the city. And it looks so light and silky, I just want to slip into them and lounge…

Monique Lhuillier S:S 2016

This Monique L’huillier dress is THE ONE! If you’re anything like me, and prefer a few items that you look stunning in, as apposed to a closet full of ‘meh’, then this is a must-have addition to your wardrobe. I could easily live in this dress all summer long!

Reem Acra S:S 2016

Reem Acra nailed evening elegance with this look for the Spring/Summer 2016 catwalk. This is a dress that is so simple in its elegance, yet defined in the detail and wearable to just about EVERYTHING.

Houghton bride

This Houghton Bride S/S 2016 dress is adorable! Perfectly suited for a 20 something with a great pair of legs, this light and airy dress is summer ready for some great outdoor functions!

And now for two lust-worthy evening looks which are niche perfect for the glam goddess in you:

alberta ferretti

Alberta Ferretti, how have we ever lived without you! This dress is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!

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Marchesa gets it so right, every single time! The entire Marchesa collection is AWESOME this year, you should check it out. I singled out this dress though because of its versatility. Airy and a little bit boho mixed with classic sophistication make this ensemble a winning combination.

….And what runway show is complete without a couture bridal display? None. Here we go, my top bridal picks for 2016:

pnina tornai 2016 runway collection

Mermaids have been living at the top of the bridal fashion charts for awhile now, and we can see why- here. This Pnina Tornai mermaid low-cut bridal dress for her 2016 runway show is a show-stopper. With loads of luxury fabric, sparkles, classic neckline cut and a bit of touching, this gown would be the ‘it gown’ for any fashion forward bride.

pronovias-wedding-dresses-spring-2016-022

THIS… I have to say that this is the one for me. (Too bad, there’s not a real wedding in the foreseeable future) This gorgeous  Pronovias 2016 gown is an absolute stunner in its classic simplicity. No sparkle, no ruffle, just pure luxury in a classic, 50’s hollywood, European cut. The lines flow perfectly and its reminiscent of classic Chanel. This wedding gown makes me want to purr…

Love to hear some of your faves from this year!

Thanks for reading

-Mliae 🙂

 

Product Review & Recommendation: Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lipbalm

On my quest for the perfect pout, 2 bloggers recommended Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lipbalm to me. I have to say…Oh yeeeaaaa. This stuff is great! Thank you to The Utopian Universe and Neeka Doll for the recommendation!

The first day I used this product, I fell in love. For someone who re-applies lip balm 100 times a day, I used this once during the day, then again right before going to sleep. When I woke up, my lips were still moist and soft. After that, I started referring this product to my family as a God-send.

What I like about this product:

  • It lasts. I mean really. You might think that 20€ is a ton of money to spend on lip balm, but when you only have to use it – max 5 times a day for constant moisture. It’s worth it, it really is.
  • Works FAST! After one days’ use, it patched up my super dry lips big time.

What I don’t like about this product:

  • Honestly, the only thing I don’t like about this product is the price. But thats actually ok because 1) it’s worth every cent …and 2) the price seems to vary by store. For example; I purchased this tube at a high-end store for 20€, when ironically, the not-so-high-end store was selling them for 30€. (Sometimes it pays to shop around)

Overall decision: I will be keeping a tube of Clarins lip balm with essential rose wax in my bag. This product is a really good one and I’m sure that when I am much further along in the challenge to find the products for the perfect pout, this item will still be in the top 5 lip balms. I am certain of it. THIS IS A KEEPER!

I love to hear your product suggestions, so please share! Many of the products I am trying, I would never have found if it weren’t for the suggestions of others…so keep it coming! Also, please understand that I am purchasing these products myself to try, so it may take a bit to sample all of them. It seems that since I am in Europe, and most of the firms which desire product reviews, prefer them in the States. So I am currently unsponsored and un-sampled as far as my reviews go. (If anyone knows of a company which would like product reviews done in Europe, please share this information too!)

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Friday Find: Marks and Spencer trousers and A-line jacket

This weeks Friday Find Challenge from A dark world inside is a good one! I was so excited to find this outfit pairing at Marks & Spencer, and on sale too!

The skinny leg trench trousers (which are red, not the pink that it looks like in the photo) fit perfectly and cut at the ankle. They were initially one half of a set (other half, unknown) which is why, I assume that they were 70% off at a 50% off sale. I paired this with an A-line jacket in Navy blue with black leather panels, which was also marked down 50%.  Ka-ching! Thank you, Marks and Spencer! As a top, I’ve added in my Peck & Peck red cashmere turtleneck sweater. I love cashmere…can’t get enough of the stuff!

This will be my #ootd for many days, I think. As for accessories, I wear them with my previously mentioned purchase of Clarks ankle boot wedges, A balmuir 100% cashmere beige hat and Navy scarf. For a pop of colour, I’m using my canary yellow Brahmin clutch. I love this bag. I’ve had it for several years now and it magically remains in perfect condition. Worth every cent!

What are your favourite finds?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Guerlain Paris maxi shine lip sensation

This is my weekly find for the weekly find blogging event at a dark world inside and I’m also writing a product review for this product. This stuff is AWESOME!

I’m a loyal Shalimar fan, so when I purchased a bottle of one of may all-time favorite fragrances, I received this little beauty as a bonus. I have to admit, that had it never been added to my bag, I probably would not have purchased it on my own. But now, I will. Not only is it a super moisturizing lipgloss, but…IT SMELLS LIKE ROSES!!

SOLD! I’ve used it to the very end already and will be, without a doubt, purchasing another tube of this maxi shine when I am next at the Guerlain counter.

You can view some of my other lip gloss product reviews here.

What are some of your faves?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Product review: CHANEL concealer in #10 beige clair

I will start by saying that this product is worth every cent spent on it. I’ve been searching for a concealer that can give me full coverage without looking like I’m wearing a mask of make-up, and I think this might be the one.

I have been using MAC on a semi-religious basis for years. But when my concealer was finally finito this time, I decided I would try something new from another one of my favorite brands and see if it suited me any better.

My skin tone fluctuates drastically between summer and late winter. In the winters, I really think I’m heading in the Morticia Adams direction by the time the sun starts shining. Now, winter skin is never a bad thing. But winter eye bags are. If you’re anything like me, your sleep is erratic at best, and those monstrous purple bags shine brightly like a trophy of a night well spent. NOT. COOL.

I went in search of a product that was thick enough to actually cover the dark circles, but not paint-it-on thick. After trying out several, this one really seemed to do the trick. I’ve been using this daily for more than a month now and I can definitely say that I love it! It smoothes and blends in easily, covers the bad spots and is even suitable for contouring. This is a product I will purchase again.

What are some of your favorite products?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

 

One of my favourite things :)

Just a quickie post to say ‘Hello’ and share one of my seasonal favourites! I purchased this Tory Burch pullover at the beginning of Autumn when in Finland, at Cotton clothing and apparel store. I love this piece. I have been wearing it at least once a week. Care isn’t too bad either. Although the tag says dry clean only, it is natural fabrics, and I’ve found that it can be washed on delicate cycle at 30c or, cold water, then lay flat to dry, wear, repeat. 🙂

Although Tory Burch products are a wardrobe investment, I am more and more convinced that you really do get what you pay for. This, in my opinion, is very true with Tory Burch products. The first item I ever purchased from her product line was a green leather handbag. I was traveling light those days, so it was in fact the only handbag I owned, so the price tag did not give me much pause as I needed something of quality. (Yes, it matched everything…my ‘uniform’ was skinny jeans and a white tank or sweater.) This bag, lasted me for more than three years of daily use, and carry and extensive world travel before it actually began to show signs of wear! Ever after that, I am officially a Tory Burch fan!

According to my distorted price per use formula, I got waaaayyyyy more out of that bag then I usually would. My general formula is that if you can get the price per wear down to 1 or less, then you’ve gotten your moneys worth!

Formula: cost/wears= cost per wear. For the bag, for example, the cost per wear formula went as follows: 365 (days per year, used it daily)*3 (approximate years of use)=1095 days. 300 (approximate price) / 1095 days = 0,27 cents (Price per wear). Pretty good, if you ask me! I should be so lucky if all my wardrobe items lasted like that 😀

What are a few of your favourite things?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae

Product Review: Chanel nail polish and lipgloss

I’ll just start by saying that I’m a total Chanel addict. I adore their beauty products and I purchase them every chance I get! That being said, and bias presented, I would like to just give a quick review of these two specific products.

These are my go-to colours for autumn. The nail lacquer is #663 lovely beige, and the lip gloss is #46. A perfect match 🙂 Like most of you, I usually shop for my nail/lip colours seasonally. It really only takes one set of colour co-ordinating products to last the entire season (buh-bye cluttered vanity) if…BIG IF you manage to find something that doesn’t require constant care and reapplication.

I chose these colors for a few reasons. One, being that it’s trendy. Two, pumpkin-cinnamon-beige…seriously, of course I HAD to choose it for autumn! Three, my autumn capsule wardrobe consists of Ivory, beige metallics, browns, and navy blues. Ta-da! Goes with everything 🙂

I have a problem with ordinary nail polish. My problem is this: It just chips off. You know, those attractive portions of natural nail showing through the tips of your newly polished lovelies that make you look as though you spent your day doing manual labour. Sooooo frustrating! Some things help (like wiping over your clean nails with toner in order to remove the oils before polishing and using a good base coat) but if your colour is sub-par, it’ll last for about an hour in perfect condition.

I’m addicted to Chanel nail lacquer mainly because it lasts. I mean lasts through serious dish-pan hands, laundry, administrative work, cutting the grass, food prep, exercise and hanging out with kids. I am in no way easy on my hands…Too much to do, too little time to do it in. Being able to look down at the end of a hectic day and see a beautifully polished feminine hand just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. In order to make it last as long as possible, I usually do wipe my clean nails with a swipe of facial toner, let dry, then use a good base coat of polish holder, let dry completely, 2 coats of colour and Chanel’s top coat which also shines and keeps your mani looking brand new.

I like the lipgloss because it has by itself just enough colour that you don’t actually have to use it in conjunction with other lip products. It small enough to fit in the smallest of clutches and (drum roll please…) does not require constant reapplication. During the day, I’ll usually dab on some lip balm, then apply gloss over. For a transition to evening, I’ll dab on lip balm, use a light lipliner  and then top with this lipgloss. Lasts well and makes me feel pretty.

Please share your experiences, thoughts and comments!

Thank you for reading

-mliae

Outlet shopping for luxury goods; Awesomeness or fashion faux-pas?

Outlet shopping seems to be the topic of much debate these days. There are endless google search results for the pro’s and con’s of outlet shopping. Mainly resulting in leaving us with the same question mark we had to begin with.

In my opinion, it basically boils down to which outlet store you are speaking of. Some of the outlets, like candle or bath/body outlets mainly use their outlets as a final destination dumping ground for their items which are no longer in season, or are no longer being carried. Some clothing outlets either only sell out-of-date or out-of-fashion clothing, so even if you’re getting a fantastic deal, you really won’t be getting your money’s worth in the long run because the time to flaunt yourself in these clothes is significantly shorter. However, since the days of retailers only stocking their outlets with sub-par or flawed merchandise is over, it’s still worth a day of shopping in the hopes of getting lucky. And who of us doesn’t like a day of shopping?!

As more and more clothing manufacturers increase output to keep up with the constant fluctuation in consumer tastes, this results in an increased need for warehousing and thus additional markdowns in order to maintain the merchandise turnover ratio within the main stores.  This, is why I believe there has been such a sudden surge in luxury item retail outlets. Lucky us, excess = markdowns and new inventory = a stock up of new items at the outlet 🙂

Many retail outlets mainly stock and restock items selected to be sold only at the retail outlet. However, sometimes one can get lucky if you are diligent, in finding new items from the current season.

Take for example; Coach. (I will confess an addiction to Coach). The outlet store is usually stocked full of silk scarves, handbags, perfume and men’s leather goods on deep discount (keep that 50% off coupon ladies, you’ll need it!). The handbags are updated and usually one can find a must-have accessory or leather gift item for a very reasonable price. (See mint chain necklace in photo…I fell in love at first sight).

Although there are many fashionistas that swear that your wardrobe must turn-over with the times, there are those of us who need only a few classic pieces or accessories to complete an outfit and that will last us for many years to come. Enter luxury retail outlets. A good, high quality silk scarf to take your jeans and cashmere sweater or black business attire from drab to fab in less than a minute! So why in the world wouldn’t we pay only a fraction of the price for something lovable for a foreseeable future? You tell me! I vote for Awesomeness. Luxury retail outlets rock out if you can just keep your head when you are shopping and make sure that the pieces you purchase are a significant addition to your wardrobe and not an impulse buy.

What do you think? Awesomeness or fashion faux-pas?

See you at the outlet 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-mliae