Monday, 31 May 2010

ASOS you legend

What started out as a reasonably modest website based around providing us mere mortals with clothes akin to the celebs, has now taken over the planet.

Well, that could be a slight exaggeration, but since ASOS found its way into my life, I have been a slightly poorer but happier and better dressed fashionista.

The recent brainwave of offering free delivery and free returns (though it can take up to 6 days) is genius as it encourages buyers to add many items to their basket "because I might as well, just to see", thus giving buyers more options at no extra cost, and expanding the website's chances of making a sale. Win-Win!

I have especially enjoyed the sale items recently, nabbing the dresses above for £18 each, as well as these  delectable longline tops...

The online shopping experience isn't quite the same as a good old-fashioned trawl round the shops; you can't feel the fabric, check the quality, be inspired by the strategically positioned nearby accessories and well-styled mannequins.

It is however, quick, easy and convenient (especially when you're meant to be doing something like revising or writing an essay, but 5 mins online just brightens up your day a treat!)

Be warned: it is also addictive, and doesn't feel like you're spending real money when it's only a figure on the computer screen!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Tried and Tested... Mascara

So as a new feature to Stay Seated and Look's already riveting content, I will be conducting tests and giving reviews of numerous beauty products (well, the ones that can be purchased on my meagre student budget).

First on the agenda: Mascara!

Every girl needs a wand of magic that will lift, lengthen and luscious-ify her lashes, but as there are so many on the market, which purse-friendly mascara gets the much-coveted Stacey Seal of Approval?

In the spotlight today are:

Maybelline Volume Express Waterproof Mascara in Black. £5.99 in Boots.

The 'anti-clump brush' and 'multi-level bristles' are actually far more standard than they sound, but this isn't a bad thing as it renders the mascara wand easy to use.

Application was swift and easy, and the mascara left my lashes looking thicker, longer and nicely separated. No hic-ups there.

The formula sets slightly when dry thus keeping curled eyelashes upright all night.

In swish monochrome packaging, with a compact length and only£5.99 for 10ml, I'd definately buy it again.

No. 7 Extreme Length Mascara in Black. £12 in Boots.

This modest little number has a very rigid application brush that's great for precision but again a little hard on the lash line.

The mascara itself is a good consistency and gives good lash separation though not a huge amount of volume. After a few hours my lashes looked a little dry, verging on spidery, but still looked long and dark.

As this comes in a 7ml tube, it's less value for money than the other two options, and to be honest I wouldn't spend the money on it again (I'd rather spend it on things for my limbs not my lashes to wear!)

Bourjois Liner Effect Mascara in Black. £8.99 in Boots.

The 'flexible new generation brush' has longer bristles on one side than the other which is great for giving either a smooth coat that separates the lashes or a closer, thicker coat that volumises them up a treat, and gets the jet-black colour close to the lash-line; hence the name.

Although the brush takes some getting used to (the longer bristles are quite sharp so if you misjudge how long they are you could give your eyelid a scratchy tickle!), with a little practice it's a fantasic tool (or Weapon of Mass Destruction).

This mascara made my lashes thick, long, and very evenly coated. With it's ergonomically designed casing it was easy to hold and use, and at 11ml for £8.99 I'd say it's the best of the bunch! Stacey's Seal of Approval to you Mr. Bourjois!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Fruity new dress to keep off the revision blues...

Recently treated myself to this bee-yootiful hot pink satin dress for sophisticated summer-time cocktails, weddings or just because every girl needs a hot pink dress that makes her feel gloriously girly.
It has a thin rubber trim lining the top of the dress to prevent any accidental flashing and pockets... incase I want to... pick daisies and keep them with me?

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Quote of the Day, 20th May 2010

Lord Henry, in Chapter 2 of Wilde's glorious Dorian Gray, says;

"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

Yesterday I bought many packets of biscuits and a couple of bars of chocolate to contribute to my friend's BBQ snacks. I knew they were looking at me, they were teasing me and so I ate them.

This meant that I had to walk to the supermarket again to buy more, but at least Lord Henry would have been proud!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Fashion Union website comes up trumps...

So I stumbled across this lovely lil website; Fashion Union, and thought I'd share the love.

Selling male and female clothing at reasonable prices, it's good for the basics and has some nice holiday worthy clothing and accessories (as this is pretty much all I can think about between bouts of revision!).

It reminded me a bit of La Redoute at first but I think Fashion Union is a tad (but just a tad) cooler No offence intended L.R.I've ordered this gorgeous embellished top in peach, and I intend to wear it with a dark grey or black body-con skirt (would my black sequin one be too much?!) or just thrown over some stone-wash skinnies with some nice dainty sandals and a tan. Bish Bash Bosh.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

An article I wrote for my student newspaper...

I recently carried out a linguistic study as part of my degree, in which I alanysed the language use in two similar news articles.

The were both about a bill in Utah that proposes to ban 'intentional miscarriages'.

It spawned me to write this Article (scroll to page 23) which got printed in the Birmingham University student newspaper; Redbrick.

Friday, 7 May 2010

A Taste of the Exotic...

The colourful embellishments and enchanting prints of the high-street's tribal trend make me yearn for the summer in all it's fashion glory.

Floats maxi dresses and patterned halter-neck bikinis conjure images of languidly sipping a pina colada on an exotic terrace (well I would if I liked coconut, I'll change that to a Woo Woo- classy bird me).

If only I could be whisked away to foreign lands with the flourish of a heavily-bangled, henna-tattoed and sunkissed arm. Alas, my arms are pasty and bare, outside my window is a wet pavement and on my desk is a stack of books I'm supposed to be reading. SIGH.

To get my tribal fix in anticipation of the real summer to begin, I got this fabulous bag from Matalan:
Just huge enough for filling with all the uneccessary crap women put in their bags 'just incase' (sunglasses, umbrella, cuticle cream, nail file, paracetamol, lib balm, comb and of course cheek and lip tint...)

To release your inner tribal godess, try wearing floaty but bold fabrics in rich colours, with added details and beading to add a luxe feel. Tie strips of patterned silk around your hair and adorn your wrists with bangles of every colour- brownie points for chunky wood, tassles and beading!

This red tribal tunic is perfect for that 'just been to Marrakesh, actually' vibe, and these gorgeous lil' Miss Selfridge sandals just scream 'TAKE ME TO THE BEACH AND SUN ME NOW'.

Just think: authentic arabian accessories, beautiful bold bangles, colourful creations, dramatic designs and exotic exuberance (OK I'll stop now, by quixotic quaintness this could get tedious.)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Quote of the day, 5th May 10:

"Variety in the spice of life"

I have recently watched the 1997 biopic of Oscar Wilde's life, and this line in spoken by Jude Law playing Lord Alfred Douglas.

I'll gloss over the fact that it was said in the context of Bosie seeing rent boys as well as his lover, Wilde...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Too many books, too little time...

The Exam Period is upon us.

As a student studying English Literature (amongst other things), and having been revising for four whole days now.
I feel as though I have only just started climbing a never-ending staircase of knowledge, only to find that it is in fact an escalator and those stairs just keep on coming.

The more I try to get my head around plot, characters, setting, themes and just trying to 'get the gist' of a book or a poem, I am finding myself having to explore allegories, pragmatics, criticism, social historical contexts, author biographies and everything else that makes one piece of literature become a cavernous world of extraneous pieces of information that refuse to stay in my head.

Sure finding out about how an author's sexuality affected the reception of his story is interesting, and questioning why the texts I've been asked to study have been canonised into 'English Literature At It's Best' actually reveals a lot about the power of dominant ideologies and groups (it's always the white, middle-class men that get to decide if it's keeper or not).

My problem arises when I think about the sheer amount of things I am trying to remember on the off-chance that a question in one of my exams might require a sentence or two's reflection on something I've read, once, weeks ago.

I must try to remember that knowledge isn't all about being able to regurgitate facts, dates and names when prompted by a crisp sheet of white A4. I came to University to expand my knowledge; true, but it's the effect of this knowledge that I'm really looking for; wisdom, awareness and acuity.

It just so happens that the means to this end involves climbing many more steps for many more years, never hoping to reach the top, just enjoying the excercise along the way.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Quote of the day, 2nd May 10:

"Because life without experience, is not experiencing life..."

(Me, because it is my motto and it is true. NB: also good for peer pressure).