Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Chapter Two

I have written this post so many times in my head over the past few months.  I couldn't decide whether to let this blog go, to write a post explaining my absence, or to try and start something new.
I have missed this space I created to share and to communicate, my visual online journal of sorts, but I didn't know how to start what I was struggling to keep up.  So I have decided to just start...

The photography on this blog was greatly helped by my boyfriend and we broke up last summer.  So I was stumped and realised that my blog would need to change somewhat without his input.  Also, I became increasingly aware of how public a blog is and felt watchful eyes as people observed how or if I would continue blogging in the wake of this.

I have always been conscious of keeping a level of privacy on here and do not share my name too freely.  This is not because of any sense of shame, and let's face it, my face is already plastered all over here, but because I wanted to keep this space separate from other aspects of my work and life.
Also, there was probably a level of shyness in the beginning and to blog requires a lot more confidence than 'non-bloggers' would recognise.  I have read many posts like this from others before and know I am not alone in this! 

All of that may beg the question, which I have asked myself continuously, 'why do I blog?'

Simply because I want to and I enjoy it.  I adore how it challenged and improved my photography.  It gave me confidence and I watched my own sense of style develop and grow.  I appreciate every connection and friendship and comment from around the world and this collective sharing of style and ideas.  It can feel like a supportive network and something far more inspiring than the narrower field of the fashion magazine for me.  It also gave me a new appreciation for detail in life as I started to view things in a different way.

I had a worry though that it would look like an exercise in vanity and as my confidence has dipped this year, that worry took over and I couldn't face blogging.  Sadly, it was blogging that had given me confidence which is why I have decided to start again with that realisation. 

I realised I do not need to justify to anyone why I blog, only I need to know the reason.  We live in a world of judgement that is impossible to avoid so you need to keep on doing what brings you happiness and inspires you regardless.   

However, looking at too many photos of me was killing my happiness.  Sometimes, I think we all need a break from that in this image fuelled world of the selfie we find ourselves in.  I was beginning to feel like a failure with each blemish on my face.  I can't put an Instagram filter on my mirror to deal with my first thing in the morning face and I can't Photoshop away my flaws when I take my makeup off at night.  I don't blog because I think I am beautiful.  I was starting to put so much pressure on myself to have a face full of makeup and a flawless, billboard style, airbrushed image to post here.  I am not a model.  I don't have cheekbones.  My skin has caused me endless amounts of depression and anxiety for a decade and it may never improve.  I wanted to tell this to the people who have read my posts, to the people who have left me such lovely comments and sent such kind emails because what gives me confidence and happiness, when I feel so sad looking at my skin each day and comparing myself to every girl walking down the street, is women supporting women and learning to accept what I have.  It's the people who accept my flaws and the women who choose to not judge you for them despite what the media tells us to accept as beautiful, that fill me with joy.  I wish to do that too for anyone that feels ugly or physically imperfect because I know how bad and insecure it can feel but also because I feel passionately that our lives should not be consumed by it.  We have to fight against that and I feel like this dear blogging community I was a part of has largely been about that and introduced me to that same spirit.   I still dearly wish my skin would improve but I have to accept it may not and not feel like a lesser person because of it.

I do not know what I will blog about next.  I am currently in Tokyo, Japan and feel inspired to share the different styles and fashions from here as well as how I deal with humidity, low bank balance and one suitcase for 6 weeks to create my own outfits!  I will be posting on Instagram too if anyone would like to follow: _susiesnaps

If you are still with me after that essay, thank you!  I hope it made some sense to somebody.
Thank you to everyone who kept reading this blog in my absence and for your emails :) x
 An April sunset over Tokyo

Monday, 28 October 2013

Autumn Is A Second Spring

'Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower'
-Albert Camus
The season of mist and mellow fruitfulness has been a joy.  When you are blessed with crisp blue skies and sunlight that makes the mountain glow red in the mornings, you remember the wonder of Autumn and how no other time of year is the world set alight with this blaze of colour.  I take all the joy I can in it before the darker and colder days settle in. 
I am still rushed off my feet with work so I haven’t taken as many walks or time curled up by the fire with a good book but I have cooked *some* warming meals, pulled out all my knitwear and purchased a new Winter coat.  I adore the style of it and the subtle plaid pattern but I am not sure I can pull off the unstructured, double breasted styles this season as well as everyone else I have seen.  I love them on the hanger but they are often in danger of drowning me and giving me broad, man shoulders!  I also think they look much better with high heels to balance them out which is not always the most practical. 
Dress - Urban Outfitters        Top - Uniqlo Heatech           Boots - Vintage       Coat - Zara           Bag - Vero Moda

This dress has been a firm favourite since I bought it in Urban Outfitters just over a month ago and it’s perfect with my vintage boots.  I love the wee shape and style of these boots and I also love that my Great Aunt Bridie gave them to me as they had been sitting in great condition in her wardrobe for years!  It makes them more sentimental and I know that she loves seeing them get used too.
                                                                                                                                                             These were taken in Ormeau Park, Belfast which just comes alive at this time of year.  There are  already trees bare in my street and I am going to miss the vibrant colour of Autumn and its golden light in another few weeks.  I tend to just want to hibernate in Winter!  Let us see October out with a bang for Halloween.  I am contemplating dressing up as I didn't last year.  What is everybody going as?

I am very happy to be able to host a giveaway for all you Apple Addicts. 'Iconemesis' will be giving away an iPhone cover of the winner's choice to followers of this blog and followers of their facebook or twitter page. I am not all about the phone bling normally but these cases are really lovely and different to others I have seen.  They have lots of fashion inspired ones and, my personal favourite, Fifi Lapin.  Have a look at their website:  http://www.iconemesis.co.uk
a Rafflecopter giveaway This is my first time using Rafflecopter so if you have any difficulty entering using this form, just email me at acertainvintageblog@gmail.com to tell me you have followed this blog and are following Iconemesis on either Facebook or Twitter.  Tweets about the competition welcome!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

September Favourites

Back to monthly favourites!  I jumped into a new full time job, immediately after finishing a hectic few weeks on another job without my dreamed about day off so I am just catching up with myself now.  I am enjoying the new work though and the new wardrobe required.  Would anyone be interested in a series of work outfits?  I need to hire a photographer!

It has suddenly turned cold but Autumn so far has been bright blue, blustery skies and crunchy yellowing leaves.  I adore this time of year; the clothes, the smell of Halloween in the air, lighting the fire again, going for walks, drinking hot chocolate.  I hope to savour every last day of October before the grey of November.

Baby Gazing
First and foremost...although favourite would be an understatement...these little feet.  My sister had her second baby boy at the end of August and I am besotted.  I feel so blessed to have two beautiful nephews and just look at these little toes!  Baby gazing I coined as a term to describe my new favourite activity.  The colourful crochet is courtesy of Granny (my talented Mummy!)

Dita Von Teese for Art Deco -at half price!
These cosmetics weren't very well advertised here and I never saw them in the flesh in my local Debenhams.  I happened upon them being sold half price on a dreary work day in Dublin and pounced at the last chance to try these products for a fraction of the price!.  I hadn't treated myself to lovely makeup in a very long time and the gold, vintage packaging of this compact and lipstick just feel so glamorous.
I am particularly taken with the lipstick.  Fades evenly, staying power, not drying and gives a nice satin finish; it's the red I have reached for all month.   The Candlelight Powder is not as luminous a highlighter as I was hoping for but used all over, it gives a lovely soft glow and finish without being powdery and cakey.

Impulse Buys and Black Lace

I go through shopping phases and usually can't afford to impulse buy too much.  In September I treated myself to a few frivolous, cheap and cheerful Primark trips however.  I have fallen head over heels for my chat noir makeup bag and only wish he was a bit bigger, or had a strap, so I could use him as a regular bag!  I also thought the Primark black lace crops for £2 each were a great find; there is little difference between them and Urban Outfitter's more expensive offerings.  I never buy lingerie in Primark but there is something wonderfully elegant about knowing you have a bit of black lace on.  They also are doing a great range of basic slips.  I have always extolled the virtues of a good slip but in the past have had trouble finding them easy on the high street; I love how that is changing and I can get ladylike chic quickly and cheaply if needs be!
Finally, I jumped on the blogger bandwagon with a Maybelline Baby Lips.  The name creeps me out slightly, but they are so cheap and really moisturising with great colour; just one of those quick, easy to use but pretty products you end up using everyday.  I got the 'Cherry Me' shade and it's a really pretty, flushed colour.

This film was a delight.  A black and white, silent, Spanish spin on Snow White with bullfighting and flamenco added in for good measure.  Everything I love and delightful humour from a star turn by a chicken.  I really was caught up in the fairytale for the time I spent in the cinema and I didn't expect to enjoy it as much.  It takes the current trend of reworking fairytales, along with the popularity of 'The Artist', but still creates something totally unique and worthy in its own rite; the score is also enchanting.  The only thing that left me a little unsure was the bizarre ending.  As the darker nights approach, I really recommend this for a watch.

Haim:  Forever
Warpaint-esque with a kick.  Prepare yourself for glossy hair, sullen hipster girls and epic dance moves.  I am addicted to the feel of the video and have the song on my morning iPod playlist!  Finally they released their first album on 30th September as well.  If you like this, give their Fleetwood Mac cover song a listen.

I hope everyone is enjoying Autumn with its colour, its changes and its magic.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Ding Dong The Bells Are Going To Chime

The leaves are turning, the wind is howling outside and yet we are still being blessed with blue September skies.  Last week I went to my cousin's wedding in beautiful Co Wicklow and it felt too early to do a proper Autumn/Winter wedding outfit.  I had my heart set on wearing a particular dress but I was so worried that the weather would turn overnight and my outfit was completely Summery.  Luckily, I awoke to blue skies and the sun shone all day.

Let me preface these outfit photos with three important things to note: 
1.)  I decided to restyle my fringe as I missed my eyebrows and I got my hair butchered.  There's no other word for it and I'd to go to a different hairdresser to have it fixed.  It resulted in a very short, blunt fringe that hadn't been my reference point at all.  This happened 4 days before the wedding and I was devastated.  It was too short to even be pinned back but I decided to get over my very first world problem, watch the Prada Candy ad campaign and make myself love it.
2.)  I was luckily in Wicklow very coincidentally with work and had stayed in a hotel the night before.  Got up at 6am and worked all morning before racing to the wedding.  Makeup done in the car and my hair never really got done.  I would have loved more time to pamper and preen but I did quite enjoyed the drama of a quick turnaround and was just proud of myself for getting there!

My outfit stayed in the bridal tradition of 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue'.
Something Old and Something Blue:  I wore a Parigi silk dress and jacket that my Mum wore to be bridesmaid to my Aunt (Godmother and namesake) in 1984.  Disgustingly, this is what she fitted into a few weeks after having my sister as well.  I just adore the colour and the swishy silk skirt is perfect for dancing at a wedding.  I know the jacket is a bit old fashioned but I really just didn't have time to overthink much for this wedding and I'm glad because I just didn't fuss.
Something New:  White Zara stilettos purchased on Ebay and the only thing bought for the outfit.  I was worried white would be naff but I felt it was the way to go for an 80s dress and wanted something a little modern to freshen the outfit and keep it young.  I also used my beloved purple sweetie shaped clutch bag for a colour pop and a white bow band to make me feel better about my hair!
Something Borrowed:  Stunning pearl and sapphire stud earrings of my Mum's she was bought when I was born.  I wore these with my Granny's sapphire ring I always wear.
It was a beautiful wedding in an old rural church and then the reception was in a stunning country house hotel called Rathsallagh House.   From champagne in a walled garden, gorgeous homemade food, staying up all night singing in fire lit living rooms and the beautiful rooms we stayed in, it was a very elegant wedding!   I only wish I had taken more photos of everything but the day went so quick catching up with family and jiving with my Uncles!
Dress and Jacket - Parigi bought in 1984       Shoes - Zara            Hairbow - Claires         Clutch - gift
 So did my economical, vintage wedding outfit work?  
I am hopefully going to the evening part of another cousin's wedding this Friday night but I am travelling with work so may not make it back in time.  September has been hectic, expensive and I am filled with the cold.   I am desperate to have time to take pictures of the leaves but I haven't had the time to notice them turning yet, never mind photographing them.   Here is to a slightly less frantic October and a beautiful, colourful Autumn.   I just adore Autumn clothes and can't wait to start posting some more seasonal outfits soon (and posting more regularly generally when I am not staying in all the back of beyond hotels this island has to offer for work!).


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

I Feel It In The Air, The Summers Out Of Reach

Last week I experienced the moment when you first grasp that Summer is ending. The night was cold and outside the air smelt like leaves and Halloween.   It has been one of the most beautiful Summers here in Ireland that I ever remember and I'm sad to see it come to end.  It hasn't been an easy time for me personally and I feel like I couldn't make the most of our endlessly bright and warm days so, in some ways, I am ready for the change that Autumn brings.  There is something about this 'back-to-school' time of year that always feels nostalgic and a little bittersweet; friends return to the new cities and countries where they're making their lives,  we enter the last quarter of 2013 and begin to take stock of how our year has been and perhaps what we want to achieve before it ends.  September always feels like new beginnings but all beginnings start with an end. 

Then, I woke up yesterday and put on socks and shoes and spent the day walking around town boiling and cursing the arrival of an Indian Summer.  I have a chest infection and am ready to put my legs away, it can't be sunny again!  However,  I'd love to share some of my travels from this June.  I delayed posting these pictures, as I have delayed many things this Summer, but I would still like to share them in these final days of sunshine.

We travelled to Prague to stay with a friend of mine, took a night train to Budapest for a few days and then a night train to Split in Croatia where we got a boat to the island Hvar for a week.  It was an idyllic two weeks and feels like a lifetime ago!

These are taken from our first full day in Prague which was so humid.  We were treated to wonderfully dramatic thunderstorms during the night that I won't forget in a hurry.  Prague was not long after its floods and the river was still very high but things had started to return to normal.
This dress is a little big on me and I had meant to alter it but as with all good intentions....I still wanted to wear it as I love the mint shade and it was lovely and light in the heat while being covered up enough to visit churches.  I bought it a few months ago from Uncle Shelby Vintage in their pop-up shop I wrote about and with some alterations think it's a lovely summer wrap dress I would get a lot of wear from.

Much needed reviving in the beautiful Café Savoy.  On our first day we battled the heat and strolled around the Jewish Quarter, went into bookshops and crossed Charles Bridge to see the Child of Prague in the Our Lady of Victory Church, something I had particularly looked forward to having grown up with versions of the Child of Prague and praying to him for good weather for all weddings!
Dress - Vintage, Uncle Shelby Vintage   Sunglasses - Primark    Lipstick - Revlon Matte in Smoked Peach
This was taken in the hallway of my friend's apartment building.  I adore art deco and there were many art deco influences in the city.  You can decide for yourself if this is a dream or nightmare having multiple versions of me, hands on hips.
I recommend:  The elegant Café Louvre where we brunched on Sunday
Trying to get to a ballet in the Opera House
Walking along the Charles Bridge at night
Hiking up to the Castle and visiting the Loretto Shrine to see the black Madonna
Drinking beers along the water's edge
Trying the delicious Czech dish of svíčková
Exploring the Jewish Quarter on foot
Visiting the colourful and ever changing John Lennon Wall
And, of course, braving the bitter taste of Absinthe!
Na Zdraví Praha! 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

What About Breakfast At Tiffanys? Malone Lodge Hotel Event

August always seems to run like the wind into Autumn.  In short, I don't know where it has gone but I have lots of things I want to post and share about.

First, is this lovely blogger event I attended on Friday past at the Malone Lodge Hotel here in Belfast.  I haven't been to many blogger events or meet ups but the idea of a pyjama party hosted in a hotel to see some of the FABB girls sounded too good to pass up!  My biggest regret was not being able to stay the night but it was lovely to see everyone, meet new people and luxuriate in the newly renovated Malone Lodge.

I have always known of the hotel as it's very close to where I live and, as a result, we always have recommended it to family and friends.  Situated on the leafy Eglantine Avenue, it is a nice alternative to the city centre while being close to everything as Belfast is not so big!  It has always had a warm, welcoming feel due in no small part to being family run, and it was that same warmth that greeted us on Friday.

Treated to cocktails, cake and a beautiful meal, we were shown the beautiful bedrooms and new function rooms of the hotel before settling in to watch Breakfast At Tiffanys with cake, popcorn and fizz aplenty, secreted away in a private function room.

The staff made us feel welcome and I'd such a fun, relaxing night.  I thoroughly enjoyed the food and it is the newly launched 'Knife and Fork' grill restaurant that intrigued me the most and I can't wait to revisit.   I always remembered the Malone Lodge having great food and it didn't disappoint.  I am still remembering the big wedge of carrot cake I indulged in on Friday!  The restaurant now also has a takeaway deli and will be starting afternoon teas.  One will be named the Audrey, in keeping with the Audrey Hepburn pictures around the hotel and the inspiration behind the hotel's movie choice for our blogger pyjama party.  Other afternoon teas are marketed for men and one for children which just sounds adorable!

Bloggers snapping in The Knife and Fork Grill
As I said, I sadly couldn't stay over and lounge in my pyjamas with the others so here is what I wore.
My beloved orange heels were my nod to it being a Friday night but the jeans and shirt were for comfort.   It was my first time wearing the shirt and I think I love it...any opinions?  It is Juicy Couture which isn't a brand I have ever been attracted to but the shade of blue, the silk, and the complete bargain price I bought it for on Brand Alley enticed me to go a little R'n'B y'all so indulge me!

 It was lashing down so it was the perfect night to cosy up indoors with a classic movie.
Shirt  -  Juicy Couture via Brand Alley    Jeans & Bag - Limited Collection, Marks and Spencer   Sandals - Oasis   Umbrella - TK Maxx

Thank you again to the staff at the Malone Lodge and a special thanks to Anna at INC Pr and Carla, the manager of the hotel. Also to my FABB companions for such an enjoyable evening of chat and cake!  If you want to have a wee nosy at the hotel or salivate over the menu like me:  http://www.malonelodge.com

Friday, 2 August 2013

June Favourites - Holiday Packing

Belated yes, but I will not be beat!  June's Favourites are going to be a holiday-cum-packing themed post (and I am squeezing this in before my July Favourites, yes I am).

I secretly enjoy a wee bit of packing.  Granted, unpacking is a different story and I am trying to ignore that carry-on glaring at me from the floor right now...  I like the smug feeling of packing just the right amount of the right thing.  This year I was quite strict on what I brought as we were sharing a backpack due to crazy airline charges and also because we knew we had to haul it on and off trains, planes, boats and buses.  I wore everything I brought and didn't overdo it on shoes and haircurlers like last year!    I am going to show you my favourite bits of suncare, skincare and makeup that I brought that I would recommend.

In My Travel Makeup Bag
 L-R: Mac Studio Fix Concealer, Benefit High Beam, Colour Club Nail Lacquer, Jane Iredale BB Sample, Revlon Matte Smoked Peach Lipstick, Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Balm

I adore this little makeup bag I bought last year on holiday in Bosnia and it's a great travel size.  It is also being sold in a gift boutique near me for £10 and I got mine for about £1 so it makes me feel thrifty!   In addition to this I brought my Urban Decay Naked palette, a sample of the new Chanel mascara (it's brilliant!), Bare Minerals powder, some blusher and an eyeliner.  The small sizes of the BB sample and mini high beam etc. meant I didn't have any bulky bottles to pack.
Mac Studio Fix Concealer - They only thing that covers my acne and scars and a great colour in NW15.  I only wish the full coverage foundation came in this shade as I go through so many pots of this.
Benefit High Beam - my favourite highlighter for my pale skin.  Great travel size as it came in a palette.  A bit of shimmer is always required for a summer holiday evening!
Colour Club - this is the brightest coral I have ever found.  I received it in my birchbox so it was a perfect small size to bring for touch-ups and if you can't go neon on holiday out of Ireland, when can you!?
Jane Iredale Dreamtime BB Cream, Shade 3 - too dark for me normally but was much better than my paler foundations for when I got some colour.  SPF and moisturising qualities made it a useful multiuse product for travelling.  Great coverage.  I had wanted to try a more natural BB for a while and ordered this sample pot online.  It lasted me the full 2 weeks as a little went a long way and the wee pot is tiny so was great to travel with.
Revlon Matte Lipstick in Smoked Peach - adore!  I bought this after seeing it on Emma's blog: Ol' Green Eyes as it looked great on her pale skin.  I find coral and peach hard to wear although I adore it but this is a great shade.  Being matte it looks wonderfully retro but isn't drying at all.  For the price of them I am a huge fan of the Revlon lipsticks.
Fresh Tinted Lip Balm - My favourite thing!  This helpfully had SPF 15, was very moisturising, tastes lovely and the natural, rosy colour is gorgeous.  A tinted lip balm also has the nostalgia factor of reminding you of holidays when you were 14 and the only makeup you brought was a lipsmacker! Also a Birchbox find and lovely, small travel size.
Travel Skincare
 L-R:  Taaj Makeup Remover,  Caudalíe Eau de Beauté, Elemental Herbology Facial Hydrator, Sudocrem
Taaj Eau Micellaire: Worked as my general makeup remover and eye makeup remover in one.  Small bottle that came free with purchase of a bigger one in Paris last year.  I love this as much, if not more, than Bioderma.
Caudalíe Eau de Beauté: Mentioned in my last monthly favourites.  Refreshing in the heat, while sunbathing, travelling on planes and great after cleansing as toning.  It's almost finished :(
Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator SPF 8:  Birchbox so great size again!  Smells beautiful and wasn't too heavy plus an extra bit of SPF.  Doesn't break me out.
Sudocrem: Irish holiday must have! This handy wee tube was great on sunburn and mosquito bites.
I also brought my Eve Lom cleanser which had very little left so I finished it and was able to leave the pot behind leaving room for souvenir purchases...

L-R: Caudalie SPF 20 Sunscreen, Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion, Caudalie SPF 30 Anti-Ageing Face Sunscreen, Caudalie Divine Body Oil
Caudalíe Sunscreens:  These were a wonderful find in Debenhams before I went away.  The body and face sunscreen were reduced to £7 each as opposed to the £20 and upwards prices in Space NK so I couldn't resist.  I would probably have been better with a higher factor on my body as I needed to reapply this a lot so I didn't burn but I got my first light, natural tan ever this year and these were great products that didn't feel sticky or overly scented.
Dove Summer Glow:  The 'Fair to Medium Skin' shade is perfect on me.  I only brave tanners about two or three times a year on my legs and arms.  Most are too dark on me, I am terrified of streaks, I loathe the fake tan smell and I am also fine with being pale and interesting.  This didn't have a strong smell though and used a few times gave an even colour I was impressed with having forked out for the St Tropez gradual tanner a few times.
Caudalíé Divine Oil: Just because it was a travel size again and it worked great for nourishing as an after sun and in my hair.
Holiday Reads
'Instructions For A Heatwave' Maggie O'Farrell:  On Kindle!  Although this wasn't my absolute favourite from her, I love Maggie O'Farrell and this is a good, easy read.  Descriptions of sticky hot days and people's heat affected behaviour was very fitting.
'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' Milan Kundera:  Bought as a gift to myself in a bookshop in Prague.  After all, one should read some Kafka or Kundera when in the Czech Republic right?  Well, if one is a tad pretentious then one definitely should. 
'NW' Zadie Smith:  I loved Zadie Smith's 'On Beauty' and 'White Teeth'.  This is written in a beautiful lyrical, flowing style.
'This House is Haunted' John Boyne:  The Irish author of 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas', this is a gothic, Victorian style ghost story.  I was especially charmed because my Mummy got me a signed copy when I was feeling ill and I've never had anything signed for me before!
'Dead and Gone' Charlaine Harris:  I am not ashamed that I brought a vampire book on holiday as holidays are a time for guilty pleasures.  It's only not photographed because the pages fell out on the beach when the glue binding melted in the sun!  I am not hiding it out of shame.  Vampire fiction lover and proud...sort of.
 Travel Journals
I always like to pack a notebook for scrawling down directions and anything else.  I endeavour to keep rough journal entries of our trips as I have enjoyed reading them back before.  I did well this time and ended up writing on night trains and other weird and wonderful places.  This beautiful Florentine notebook I bought in Florence, of course.  I got this lovely cotton blue one in Prague for my next adventure, I hope.
Normally, this word strikes fear in my heart but this year I loved my swimwear.
Bikini one: a £5 Primark top.  I love monochrome and I love underwiring and structure as I find it more flattering for my shape.  I paired this with black ruffled skirt bottoms bought from Asos last year and it had a retro style I loved and gave me a better shape than triangle tops etc.
Bikini two: My indulgence was this 60s print bikini from Floozie by Frost French.  It was 20% off and the most I've ever spent on swimwear considering it's normally Asos mix and match £5 seperates.  The pattern reminded me of Mad Men...when they go to Hawaii and the underwire and fit was really flattering.
As with all swimwear, a certain amount of devil may care attitude is required to really embrace it!

 Let me know what books you have been reading this summer and things you have been loving!  Also, let me know if you would like to see more beauty product mini reviews like this in my monthly favourite posts?
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